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Inside Vegas - Steve Miller

Steve Miller is a former Las Vegas City Councilman. In 1991, the readers of the Las Vegas Review Journal voted him the "Most Effective Public Official" in Southern Nevada. Visit his website at:

Vegas slimes a Southern California Sheriff
and gets a well deserved black eye
Rizzolo becomes pal of a Sheriff with
access to secret organized crime databases

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
May 1, 2006

LAS VEGAS - Sin City is receiving the bad publicity it rightfully deserves in our most lucrative tourist market, Southern California. In this case, "What happens here, stays here" does not apply.

For several years, I've purposefully shared my research and articles with California journalists, hoping they would pick up on what the new Vegas has become, and embarrass us into cleaning up our act.

When stories about LV organized crime figures buying a California Sheriff started appearing in major dailies like the Orange County Register, and Los Angeles Times, it should have caused a panic at the Nevada Resort Association, Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, Nevada Development Authority, LV Convention and Visitors Authority, and City Hall -- but it didn't. My theory is that we can't afford to allow this degree of bad press to go unanswered in our most targeted tourist markets. Its just bad for business.

                         Rizzolo and his new pal
                 (Orange County Weekly photo)

Hence, the beginning of our long needed cleansing process -- or at least that's my plan.
Since 1999, when Mob lawyer Oscar Goodman was elected Mayor of Las Vegas, the reputation of our city began going down the toilet. Goodman has proven time and again that his true loyalties are to his former Mob clients, some who today are considered "Pillars of the community," at least in Goodman's eyes.

However, in Newport Beach, and Laguna Beach, California where Goodman and his cronies have beach homes -- an area Vegas movers and shakers consider a sanctuary -- the locals are getting an unwelcome whiff of an unwanted stench. Most Newport and Laguna residents come from old money. They just don't need our less-than-classy "neuvo riche" hanging around their pristine communities -- let alone, trying to buy their local Sheriff, or becoming honorary cops!

In between white Russians: Carona swears in Glusman  
and Gary Primm mere feet from the Ritz bar.
             (Orange County Weekly photo)

Restaurant owner Fred Glusman, and Rick Rizzolo, the purported owner of the Vegas Crazy Horse Too strip joint, are known Mob associates. But casino owner Gary Primm is an outsider. Primm recently sauntered into the Newport Ritz and strutted out wearing a fake cop badge. Maybe he doesn't have a clue, but he's now in the middle of an embarrassing mess that could put his unlimited Nevada gaming license in jeopardy. The law says gamers must be careful of their associations, but Primm seems to be out to lunch on the subject.

In Newport Beach where Primm also has a beach house, he needs to learn "If you sleep with dogs, you may wake up with fleas... (and a badge!)"

Nonetheless, it took newly sworn in "Sheriff Glusman" little time before he was flashing his  purchased badge and making a fool of himself, so much so that he soon had to resign from the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Hopefully "Sheriff Primm" won't make the same mistake.

After becoming fake cops, Glusman (left)
is joined by Sheriff Carona and Gary
Primm cutting a taxpayer-paid cake that                          

says “Congratulations Sheriff Glusman
Sheriff Primm.” (OC Weekly photo)

In his April 26, 2006 article, "Dirty, Stupid or Both, Never mind the photo: Sheriff Carona denies Mafia ties," Orange County Weekly  writer R. Scott Moxley opened a giant can of worms that put the Vegas underworld on the Southern California map.

"Carona’s job comes with a $550 million annual budget, 1,800 deputies and access to secret organized crime databases. If he’s really unaware of the activities of La Cosa Nostra (LCN) in Orange County, state investigators aren’t," according to the Weekly.

Carona's access to secret organized crime databases raises speculation that Rizzolo and Glusman have more to gain by schmoozing Carona than just being his pals. In other words, a friend with such access is a friend indeed to wannabes who have ties to real La Cosa Nostra guys. Meanwhile, Carona is the subject of a grand jury investigation in Southern California.

Within hours, Moxley's Weekly story was picked up the the Los Angeles Times. In their April 28, 2006 article, "Criticism follows reserve deputy problems and publication of photo of the owner of an investigated strip club," Times Staff Writers Christine Hanley and Christopher Goffard, let Las Vegas' biggest tourist market know that Orange County Sheriff Carona had "disgraced his office by posing for the pictures in uniform and for swearing in some reserve deputies who were unfit to carry a badge," according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Commander Ralph Martin, one of three candidates hoping to unseat Carona in this year's election.

"Unfit to carry a badge?"  Didn't Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman name Freddie Glusman "Las Vegas Citizen of the Month" in September 2002 a few weeks after he publicly referred to an African American City Councilwoman as a "Schwarz?"

And wasn't it Mayor Goodman who told the LV Review-Journal on April 1, "I like Rick Rizzolo. He goes to Piero's every Thanksgiving and feeds hundreds of needy people. And he treats them with dignity."

However, Rizzolo has not always been known for treating people with dignity. He pleaded guilty in 1985 to battery after bashing in a Crazy Horse patron's head with a baseball bat! The man died three years later of complications.

Sheriff's donor resigns from reserve, Ritz restaurateur accused of showing badge in Newport parking dispute."

Glusman became angry when a Laguna Beach merchant told him he couldn't park in his private parking space. Glusman flashed his badge, the merchant grabbed it and called police. It just so happened that the merchant was a retired police officer. <> <>

Now, the LA Times quotes another police officer saying Mr. Glusman was "unfit to carry a badge!" What does this say about our LV Mayor who is a regular at Glusman's LV and Newport Beach eateries; Piero's and the Ritz, and dedicated a Vegas month to the guy? (Rick Rizzolo is suspected of having hidden ownership in the Ritz.)

Hello Mayor Goodman! If the mere presence of your cronies being photographed standing next to a Sheriff threatens to end a law enforcement career, what does that say about the tolerance level of Las Vegas -- a town where the Mayor heaps praise so recklessly -- but remains in high esteem with voters?

No wonder
the reputation of Las Vegas is going down the toilet! Fred "Man of the month" Glusman, and Rick "Treats them with dignity" Rizzolo should not be the standards of Vegas society. We deserve better, and so does Orange County.


Sunday, Apr. 30, 2006
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

Strip club deal near

Sources: Crazy Horse Too settlement puts Rizzolo in prison


Copyright © Steve Miller

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