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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:

TAM Laws Ignored by Protected Topless Bar, Police, and City Officials
Even "STOP DUI" is afraid to act!

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
August 16, 2004
    Man found passed out next to car with engine running            Bar patron urinates while passed out next to his car
                                                            (Photos by Buffalo Jim Barrier)

LAS VEGAS - If Sandy Heverly, the zealous advocate for tougher laws against drunken driving, turns her back, there's got to be a reason.

"My entire family was very nearly annihilated by a drunken driver who had two prior DUIs," Heverly told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "The offender received a $100 fine and walked out of the courtroom laughing." "Today, that person would be facing seven counts of felony DUI," she said.

Sandy, you know as well as I that if that same drunk had just driven out of the Crazy Horse Too parking lot, he'd still be laughing!

Sandy Heverly  was the dynamo behind the nationally renown Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), Students Against Drunk Drivers (SADD), and STOP DUI organizations all based in Las Vegas. However,  no matter how many lives she's saved, the highly respected, outspoken woman has been conspicuously silent when it comes to the biggest generator of DUIs in her home town -- the politically influential Crazy Horse Too topless bar.

Sandy Heverly director of Stop DUI

An unidentified man was found lying unconscious next to his running vehicle behind the Crazy Horse at 5 PM, Tuesday, October 2. Another unconscious man was found lying in a pool of urine in the bar's parking lot on November 30.

Witnesses report that one man entered the bar at 3 PM on Monday, Oct. 1, and left the bar twenty-six hours later in a stupor. Bar employees reportedly allowed the man to leave the bar, stagger to his vehicle, and start the engine. The man then reportedly fell out of the vehicle, regurgitated, staggered a few steps and passed out on the pavement. When he could not be revived, mechanics from Allstate Auto, a business located next to the bar, called paramedics. The man was released from University Medical Center the following day after detoxification. He returned to Allstate Auto to reclaim his car.

It was determined that the second man found unconscious in the parking lot on Nov. 30, was also attempting to access his car when he passed out, not an unusual story for this trouble-plagued business -- a story Sandy Heverly knows all too well.

"I can't believe they were gonna let drunks like this drive! If they stayed there all night they must've spent a fortune. The least thing the manager of the bar could've done was call them a cab and make sure they didn't drive," said Buffalo Jim Barrier, the owner of Allstate Auto.

Last week, several of Barrier's employees were nearly run over by a man who tested 1.4 times the legal limit after he peeled out of the bar's self parking area and crashed into a concrete reinforced pole. A witness who tried to call 911 was allegedly told she could not call from inside the bar, so she used the phone in Barrier's garage. Emergency units soon responded and the driver was arrested for DUI. The Crazy Horse obviously did not want the incident reported.
Results of DUI, August 11, 2004   (Photos by Buffalo Jim Barrier)      DUI suspect is allowed to retrieve personal belongings from wrecked car

"They just keep launching intoxicated drivers out their driveway and into Meadows Village," said Barrier. Meadows Village is a low income neighborhood full of small children located one block east of the Crazy Horse.

Though the bar employs professional security 24/7 to watch the parking lot, it seems that guards are more interested in getting a little "eye candy" and a cup of coffee inside the bar than watching out for potential DUIs.

"Evidently, the Crazy Horse employees have not taken the TIPS or TAM course," Barrier said. TIPS stands for Training for Intervention Procedures by Servers, a course required by law to be taken by all cocktail servers and bartenders. Another course required to be taken by all liquor selling employees is the TAM program. Both are dedicated to reducing alcohol related driving accidents as required by state law -- but that law evidently does not  apply to the Crazy Horse.

Barrier says he's reported numerous instances of drunks being allowed to drive away from the topless bar, but has received no response to his complaints from the city or the police department. So he turned to Sandy Heverly and STOP DUI. Now he claims Heverly's organization is also non responsive.

At 9 AM, Friday May 14, the Metropolitan Police were notified that a semi truck driven by an inebriated man crashed into a parked car while leaving the Crazy Horse parking lot. After narrowly missing several pedestrians, the giant truck was seen speeding toward Meadows Village. The truck had been parked on Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) property located under the Sahara Avenue bridge. The parking lot is leased to the Crazy Horse. If a child had been maimed or killed, the taxpayers could have been exposed to liability.

The driver's description and truck number were given to the 911 dispatcher who said she would immediately send units to investigate. Witnesses stayed at the scene to give statements about the hit and run incident while another witness took chase in his car.

Minutes after the initial call was made, the citizen who reported the incident said he received a return call from "Kathy in dispatch." She reportedly told him that someone within the Crazy Horse would be required to call in the complaint before police would respond.

No call followed from the Crazy Horse, therefore the police never showed up to investigate. What's worse was the fact that STOP DUI, a non-profit organization that up until then had been so effective, was also notified but did not take action.

Reports of police turning their backs on incidents at the Crazy Horse are not new. The purported owner, Rick Rizzolo, a former law client of Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, raised $50,000 for the District Attorney (that was reportedly returned), and has many "friends" within the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Rizzolo is also known for his generous contributions to non-profit organizations and charities. Several other Crazy Horse executives (suspected owners) were also Goodman's former law clients, and one is presently the client of Goodman's former law partner and current business associate, attorney David Chesnoff.

In the Sunday, August 8, 2004 Las Vegas Review-Journal, Columnist John L. Smith had this to say about Crazy Horse executive and Chesnoff client Vinny Faraci: Now, you may ask why a cop and a man of Faraci's reputed pedigree are doing business, but I've never been the inquisitive type. Las Vegas is all about contacts, and the 49-year-old Faraci has made many. Cops, casino executives, even a politician or two. The Brooklyn native is a registered felon with a 1985 mail fraud conviction. An incident in which he was named but not prosecuted in 1985 involved the alleged ball bat beating of a Crazy Horse Too customer... Faraci's attorney David Chesnoff bristles at rumors of wrongdoing by his client. "It's amazing to me that a guy can work at the same job, do it well, pay his taxes, and be tagged the way he is," Chesnoff says.

Chesnoff may be right because no one employed at the Crazy Horse has ever been arrested or prosecuted by local law enforcement for anything including this recent DUI incident reported in the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Friday, July 23: As the Crazy Horse Too case draws closer to the indictment stage, word is surfacing that authorities are investigating whether two of the topless club's employees received preferential treatment after being stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence.

Only civil type legal actions have ever been taken against the bar, its owners, or employees. However, most were grossly under funded and were either summarily dismissed by friendly judges, or failed after abbreviated trials prompting Bart Rizzolo to tell the Las Vegas SUN: "There has got to be a way to get back at people who file lawsuits." "There has never been a suit filed that we haven't beaten and I'm hoping our record will stay that way." "If a customer gets out of line, we help the guy out, we don't throw him out," he said.

Tell that to the children and widow of Scott David Fau, or to Kirk Henry who must spend the rest of his life a quadriplegic!

It has also been reported that ambulance attendants and fire department paramedics who respond to numerous complaints of drunks passed out in the bar's parking lot, or of beating victims, are seen taking "coffee breaks" in the bar after attending to the downed patrons. In spite of warnings from high officials in the LV Fire Department, photos are taken each time such friendly visits occur. Coincidentally, when paramedics have been asked for statements regarding injuries suffered at the bar, most refuse to cooperate with reporters or with lawyers for injured parties.

                    Bobby D’Apice escorts paramedics into club for "coffee", 05/06/04
                                                        (Photo by Buffalo Jim Barrier)

One of the photos shows shift manager Bobby  D’Apice escorting paramedics into the club for a little R&R. D’Apice has previous arrests for domestic battery, battery on an officer, and carrying a concealed weapon. D'Apice is also a suspect in the 2001 case of Kansas tourist Kirk Henry's neck being broken after he objected to an $88 bar tab -- the subject of the Sunday, August 1, 2004 DATELINE NBC segment, "It happened one night." The FBI stepped in after local police and the district attorney refused to take action following the incident.

Since 2001, repeated requests have been made to Mayor Goodman to bring the Crazy Horse Too before the City Council on disciplinary actions regarding the ignoring of  TAM laws and for repeated acts of violence involving bar employees and patrons. His constant refusal to take official action -- possibly based on loyalties to his former criminal clients -- inspired the Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune on October 10, 2001, to make the following statement:

"Las Vegas does not need to be plagued with the horrible image being forced on us by an out-of-control business enterprise."  The Editor then pledged that his paper "will continue covering events at the Crazy Horse Too until this public nuisance is permanently shut down so that no one else can be injured or killed."

Several years back, Jim Barrier told a reporter, "Every local topless bar subscribes to TIPS, however, the Crazy Horse Too evidently does not feel obligated to join the program and nobody seems to care. I think Sandy Heverly of STOP DUI should step in before people get killed by guys like the ones we helped!" He then began calling and faxing Heverly at her Las Vegas STOP DUI headquarters every time he observed a DUI incident.

Barrier also sent STOP DUI dozens of photos of drunks who passed out in the bar's parking lot while they were trying to access their cars. STOP DUI still failed to take interest even after others began calling with complaints. One caller was even reportedly told the problem was a "civil matter."
                   Photos taken by Buffalo Jim Barrier that were ignored by STOP DUI

Amazingly, after the Crazy Horse had been the scene of over 700 police responses in just three years including 9 for assaults and 6 for robberies involving bar employees, Mayor Goodman had this to say about his former law client's bar when reporters touched a raw nerve during a televised press conference on Thursday, August 5:

MICHAEL SQUIRES - LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL: This week Dateline NBC had a program on the Crazy Horse Too...

MAYOR GOODMAN: I did not see that. (Emphasis added)


SQUIRES: Some of the allegations against the club that have been known for some time. Is there any appetite for a Show Cause Hearing...

GOODMAN: No! (Emphasis added)

SQUIRES: ...against the club, and why not?

GOODMAN: Ah, I've taken a position publicly, you know, that's no different than where I was before. I'm under the impression that there's a federal investigation that is underway or is taking place, and I'm not going to, ah, screw it up by having, ah, some kind of hearing in front of the City Council, ah, until somebody tells me that that is not the case.

SQUIRES: Given the facts that are known publicly that have been published, moving forward on that basis wouldn't screw up any...

GOODMAN: No one, no one's asked that other than "Captain Truth*," no one's ask me to ah, I, I haven't had a request from anybody to have an order to Show Cause. (Emphasis added)

JON RALSTON - LAS VEGAS SUN: Steve Miller sends out seven e-mails a day...

GOODMAN: Yea, right...

RALSTON: Give credit...

GOODMAN: I know...but, I, ah...Steve Miller is, ah, he's afraid of me. I don't wanna, I don't wanna, I don't wanna scare him. Excuse me... (Emphasis added)

SQUIRES: Are you looking for some credible outside source to call for this, or...

GOODMAN: Well I would would, I would assume that, ah, we have a Business License Department that I don't agree with on many occasions, ah, and ah, if ah ah they felt there was a need, I hope they would come forward and bring an order to show... say "Mayor, we're gonna bring an order to Show Cause." If they do that I'm certainly not gonna, ah ah, squelch it, that's for sure.


The City of Las Vegas Department of Business Activities works at the pleasure of the Mayor and Council, not the other way around.

And, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the Mayor still made the false statements: "I haven't had a request from anybody to have an order to Show Cause," and  "I did not see that," when asked if he was aware of the shocking DATELINE NBC exposé -- two obvious lies.

What is he trying to hide?

On October 25, 2001, one month after Kirk Henry's neck was broken, Mayor Goodman asked me to visit him in his City Hall office to discuss my first request to bring the Crazy Horse Too up on a Show Cause action. There he opened the meeting by stating, "I'm not doing any favors for Joey Cusumano," though I did not bring up Mr. Cusumano's name. Cusumano is suspected of having hidden ownership in the Crazy Horse, and was one of Goodman's most prolific former clients.

On Thursday, November 21, because he had refused to take action, I sent a certified letter to the Mayor asking that he bring the Crazy Horse up on a Show Cause. Again, he refused and the DUIs and violence continued.

On February 21, 2003, the day following the FBI raid of the Crazy Horse, Mayor Goodman paid an unexpected visit to my home.

PHOTO by Mike Christ of Goodman on Miller's doorstep

A frightened looking Goodman told me he would not legally challenge the bar's liquor license because he did not want to interfere with a federal investigation. Since then, additional beatings, credit card frauds, and a shooting have been reported at the Crazy Horse, not to mention all the DUIs -- incidents that could have been prevented if Goodman had had the guts to take timely action against his friends and former clients, some who may have hidden ownership in the bar.

The same morning of his visit, according to Chicago newspapers, mobster Joey "The Clown" Lombardo, one of Goodman's former clients with ties to the Crazy Horse, went into hiding and was suspected of turning federal witness in cases that may involve Las Vegas connections. No wonder Goodman looked frightened! Mob informer Jimmy "the Weasel" Fratianno once said the Hole in the Wall Gang regularly used the conference room in Goodman's former law office to plan their heists, and Lombardo was part of that crew.

It just doesn't seem to me that Goodman would ever turn on these guys, even if it were to stop the carnage on Industrial Road. How very sad.

Rocco Lombardo is an executive at the Crazy Horse
                    (KVBC TV News)

Curiously, in recent years, Mayor Goodman has always let his feelings be clearly known whenever something negative was written or broadcast about "his" city. For instance, in 2003, he went ballistic when "Hunting Bambi" gained national attention. Then in 2004, he said he would like to "whack" Henderson resident Michael Hamden for going national with the allegation that he overheard two men on his cell phone speak in Arabic about blowing up the Strip.

Now our Mayor says, "I did not see that," when asked if he viewed the graphically brutal DATELINE NBC segment about a Kansas man who came close to being killed at Goodman's former client's bar! Its just so strange that this one national news story did not grab his attention like the others.

"I did not see that " -- Mayor Oscar Goodman

Maybe its because the NBC story was about the guys who made him rich who now allegedly own the blood-soaked skin joint -- a bar that also employs one of his biggest former clients, Vinny Faraci, who is presently spending a fortune with Goodman's business partner David Chesnoff preparing for his defense in the upcoming federal racketeering case. And keep in mind that the Crazy Horse -- which may be confiscated by the federal government in the near future -- can also provide a lucrative harvest for Goodman's two criminal defense attorney sons in the form of dozens of organized crime type clients who may also be facing federal indictments.

Meanwhile, no matter what Goodman says about not wanting to interfere with a federal investigation, the DUIs alone are enough to shut the place down.

In the past, Sandy Heverly and STOP DUI were extremely proactive before the City Council and Clark County Commission when less politically influential businesses were found to be ignoring TIPS and TAM laws. But lately, Ms. Heverly and her organization have buried their heads in the sand when it comes to the Crazy Horse Too.

Part of the financial assistance for STOP DUI comes from those who are caught driving under the influence. Other funding comes from private and corporate donations. The organization does not solicit financial support from the general public.

(Click here for article including TRANSCRIPT of DATELINE NBC segment:)

*Steven "Captain Truth" Dempsey holds a law degree and appears twice monthly before the City Council to report crimes at the Crazy Horse and request that the bar's license be revoked, but his testimony over the past four years has been consistently discounted and ignored.

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

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