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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:

Rizzolo took an unexpected detour
on his way to Camp Granada.
Seize the moment!

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
May 28, 2007

LAS VEGAS - Last month I learned that Taft Correctional Institution Satellite Camp in Central California was overcrowded and all new prisoners were being diverted to the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Los Angeles, a maximum security facility.

I kept the information to myself because I knew that if I made it public, the attorneys for multi-millionaire convicted topless bar racketeer Rick Rizzolo would do everything they could to keep their client from serving hard time, even if for only a month or two.

But his attorneys found out and jumped into action filing sealed emergency motions in federal court to try to postpone his incarceration until after there was an opening at Taft, or until his bar was sold.

Rizzolo felt so confident he wasn't about to go to prison that three days after he filed his sealed motions he held a lavish going away party for himself at a restaurant he's suspected of secretly owning in Newport Beach, California. He got the idea for his party from one of my columns that jokingly featured a collection of jail garb and accessories and linked to where the items can be obtained. He had no idea that a confidant of INSIDE VEGAS was on his special guest list.

Immediately following the party I published
"Rizzolo Honored at Prison Themed Party in Newport Beach." Then Rizzolo's next door neighbor Buffalo Jim Barrier hand delivered the column to Judge Philip Pro and the federal prosecutors. The judge was not amused and Rizzolo's joke backfired big time!

The Orange County Weekly published an in depth article about the party which also did not amuse the judge.

Then I obtained a copy of a sealed motion asking that Rizzolo's imprisonment be postponed. To the horror of Rizzolo's attorneys Dean Patti and Tony Sgro, I published the sealed document in one of my frequent INSIDER E- BRIEFS.

The sealed motion included a highly confidential purchase agreement
from attorney David Chesnoff (LV Mayor Oscar Goodman's law partner) that purports the imminent sale of the Crazy Horse Too to a twice-bankrupt restaurant owner who is suspected of being a front for the mob. The secret document pleads with the judge to let Rizzolo stay on the outside until the sale closes sometime after June 30. It was worded in such a way as to leave his incarceration date open-ended to allow for more possible delays.

The judge saw through the emergency motion and ordered Rizzolo to check in to the LA-MDC last Tuesday.

In the meantime, the purported buyer went looking for a hard money loan according to sources. All he needs is $40 million to close the deal, but Mike Signorelli has yet to reveal where he's getting the money -- a condition required by Judge Pro in Rizzolo's plea agreement.

So it looks like the purchase agreement was a desperate ploy to keep Rizzolo out of maximum security until better accommodations were available at Taft Camp, or whatever else his lawyers could conjure up to keep him on the street.

As far as I'm concerned, after Rizzolo beat Rick Sandlin to death with a baseball bat; Scott David Fau was beaten to death behind the Crazy Horse; then Rizzolo's goons broke Kirk Henry's neck, and injured dozens of other patrons who balked at signing bogus credit card tabs, even a sentence at Alcatraz would not have been sufficient punishment. And Kirk Henry still sits in an electric wheelchair paralyzed from the neck down waiting for his first payment from Rizzolo -- an unremoursful guy who just threw a lavish party for himself and his cronies.

Rizzolo had been looking forward to a slap on the wrist and a short one year and one day stay at Taft's minimum security camp, a facility with no fences.

Instead he ended up in the dreaded Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles with gang bangers, rapists, murderers and pedophiles. He's scheduled to be in max for at least the first month of his sentence or until a space opens at Taft.

One former MDC prisoner told INSIDE VEGAS: "I was supposed be going to a camp but I guess they are all pretty full. It was a pretty big shock to think I was on my way to club fed and then found myself in a cell at MDC. Metropolitan Detention Center is a 10-story building that houses about 1,000 federal inmates at a time. It's owned and run by the federal Department of Corrections. The biggest thing for me is getting used to the slowness of life here. Outside I was always busy doing things I liked to do with people around me that I wanted to be with.
Here I'm on a floor with 100 to 140 people, with access to a small recreation deck that has a universal weight machine on it. Most of the time, our cells are unlocked from 6:30 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. but we're confined in our rooms for 15 hours a day. Considering the fact that all of our food is microwaved, it's not that bad, sometimes even good."

Considering that Rizzolo is allowed to mix with the general population on the recreation deck -- the only place where he can chain smoke -- he could come face to face with someone he ripped off or had his goons beat up. The MDC is not like Taft Camp where violence is nonexistent.

National Public Radio did a special entitled "My Dad's in There." Included on the NPR web page is a short video showing and describing the Los Angeles MDR.

A far cry from the ambiance Rizzolo and his hoity toity Vegas and Newport Beach pals are accustomed to, there is one outstanding feature about the LA-MDC, it's only three blocks from a five star hotel!
                                           Millennium Biltmore Lobby
Even though their friend is eating microwaved food in a lonely cell, Vegas movers and shakers can take advantage of this once in a lifetime chance to visit him while they can also savor the finest hotel on the west coast -- a royal place in which to gather and unwind between MDR's visiting hours. I'm sure he won't mind.

The Millennium Biltmore Hotel,  506 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles (just around the corner from Rick's new abode), features fine dining in a relaxed Mediterranean ambiance. Highlights include an indoor pool, spa, afternoon tea, a carefully hand-selected wine list, sumptuous desserts, daily specials and weekday buffets.

                                    Gallery Bar
After visiting Rizzolo in the slammer, his friends including LV Mayor Oscar Goodman, Jerry Tarkanian, former Mayor Jan Jones, Justice Nancy Saitta, and Mike McDonald can toast the day their incarcerated pal is released from max while they relax in the Gallery Bar recognized by Los Angeles Magazine as "one of the best places in town to have a cocktail." This elegant lounge offers fine wines and exclusive liqueurs under the watchful eyes of gracefully carved angels that float above the polished granite bar. Enjoy live jazz Friday and Saturday nights.

                Smeraldi's Restaurant

After cocktails -- while Rick is eating a bologna sandwich in his cell  -- his true friends including
Freddie Glusman, Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona, Tony Tegano, DA David Roger, Councilman Steve Wolfson, Fred Doumani, Jay Brown, Gary Primm, Senator Harry Reid, David Chesnoff, and Joey Cusumano can get together to enjoy award winning five course dinners at the Biltmore's Smeraldi's Restaurant featuring California Mediterranean Cuisine

                                 Biltmore Club Suite
When its time to call it a day, Rick Rizzolo's friends can get a good night's sleep in one of the Biltmore's luxurious suites to awaken for a hearty breakfast in bed before taking a brisk walk to the MDC to visit Sin City's "Pillar of the Community."

When and if Rizzolo is finally transferred to Taft, the living conditions for his loyal friends will change, so it's time to visit Rick now! Get it over with while he's in nearby Los Angeles!

Suites are $309 per night including 2 tickets to the Behind the Scenes Tour of the Kodak Theater.  Click here for Millennium Biltmore reservations.

Click here for prison visitor's information including hours and dress requirements.

Click here for a link to a company that sells and delivers gifts to your favorite prisoner .

Or if you would like to send Rick some cash to spend in the prison commissary or pay to other prisoners for protection, click here

PS: If you want to impress Rick with your haute couture, the Biltmore is only thirty minutes from chic Rodeo Drive.
                           Chicken of Oz

But it you miss your opportunity to visit Rick in Los Angeles, Taft Prison Camp is located a hot and humid one hour rental car drive from Bakersfield airport. Delta, US Airways, and United offer service from McCarran International for about $273 round trip (economy class only).

The best nearby restaurant is Oz Katz' quaint Chicken of Oz, 1107 Kern St. #3 in downtown Taft. (Taft is best known for having the world's largest kitty litter plant.)

Two motels
just down the street from the "Chicken" offer free in-room coffee makers and AM/FM alarm clocks at $69.00 - $89.00 per night. Click here for reservations.

Believe me, nothing in Taft comes close to the type of luxury the
Millennium Biltmore has to offer. But if you want to prove you really like Rick Rizzolo, wait until he's in Taft to schedule your visits.

However if you're a good (time) friend of Rick Rizzolo, visit him while he's confined in the City of Angels.
Make it a "twofer." Experience sumptuous luxury in LA while taking time to give your pal a big hug and kiss.

But time is limited! Remember, there could be an opening at Taft any day! The Biltmore's reservation line is 1-800-245-8673.

Seize the moment!

Copyright © Steve Miller


* If you would like to receive Steve's frequent E-Briefs about Las Vegas' scandals, click here: Steve Miller's Las Vegas E-Briefs

Copyright © Steve Miller

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