Jackie Glass may be stepping into
Judge Nancy Saitta's shoes
multiple cases involving
of the Rick Rizzolo crime
The Federal Court just overruled Judge
decision to prohibit examination of Rick
Lisa Rizzolo's hidden assets. Then Judge
was suddenly reassigned to concurrently
over the sentencing of the Rizzolo's son.
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
January 5, 2009
Vegas - In the previous edition of INSIDE VEGAS entitled "Rizzolo's
Lawyers Squirm," I described how convicted racketeer Rick Rizzolo's
lawyers at the firm of Patti &
Sgro tried to squelch production of documents; said their client's
fortune was "money
that was long ago spent;" then admitted a conflict of interest and
tried to withdraw as Rizzolo's counsel while causing speculation they received
legal fees under the table.
This triggered a series of
strange events that sometimes occur during the Christmas holidays, a time
when news reporters are usually taking time off and not paying attention
to local and federal court filings. I was also on vacation, and evidently
not expected to be monitoring the District and Federal Court websites.
It's common knowledge that
Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Wolfson wants to be our town's next mayor.
He's the husband of the Honorable Jackie Glass (photo above); the judge
in the KIRK HENRY vs. THE POWER COMPANY, INC. attempted murder civil case.
The Power Company, Inc. is
Rick Rizzolo's corporation. Judge Glass has presided over the protracted
Kirk Henry case in Clark County District Court since 2003 -- without finding
resolution. So Henry had to file a new action in United States Federal
Court in order to move the case along, and with the help of Federal Court
Judges Philip Pro and George Foley, the case is starting to slowly progress.
By coincidence and without
explanation, on December 28, Judge Glass was "randomly" reassigned to preside
over the January 13, 2009, sentencing of Dominic
Dominic is the 26 year old
son of Rick and Lisa Rizzolo. Last summer, Dominic pleaded guilty to stabbing
a man during a botched extortion attempt. Dominic's sentencing became Judge
Glass' second concurrent, "randomly assigned" case involving members of
the same family -- something most judges would have immediately rejected
because of the appearance of impropriety.
The day after the Dominic
Rizzolo case reassignment to Judge Glass, a document (below) was filed
in the Kirk Henry federal case that caused speculation that something was
amiss. In the document, Rick Rizzolo's attorneys used a September 2008
ruling by Judge Glass to try to avoid revealing information they were ordered
to produce concerning the whereabouts of Rick and Lisa Rizzolo's hidden
fortune. The Rizzolos are accused of hiding their assets to avoid paying
Kirk Henry and the IRS, while Rick Rizzolo is regularly observed squandering
tens of thousands of dollars in cash on a nightly basis in Vegas casinos
The above document, and the
Dominic Rizzolo case reassignment -- filed within 24 hours of each other
-- triggered suspicion that Judge Glass was about to become the Rizzolo
family's newest personal judge.
Glass' husband, Councilman Steve Wolfson (smiling), cannot be elected mayor
without the support of Rick Rizzolo's former criminal defense attorney
agent; current Mayor Oscar Goodman (left photo - Goodman glaring at
AmericanMafia.com photographer Mike Christ). Goodman has proudly proclaimed
that Rick Rizzolo is his friend,
and it's well known that associates of Rizzolo launched Goodman's early
career as a mob lawyer. Goodman owes his financial success to Rizzolo associates
including Joey Cusumano, Tony "the ant" Spilotro, and Joey "the clown"
Lombardo, and Goodman is famous for returning favors. Like Goodman, Steve
Wolfson is also a well known local criminal
Was the sudden reassignment
of Wolfson's wife to preside over the sentencing of Rizzolo's delinquent
son a quid pro quo?
If Judge Glass lets Dominic
Rizzolo off with a slap on the wrist, will her act of extraordinary kindness
endear her and her husband to Goodman's former criminal defense clients
who are able to generate millions of dollars in political campaign contributions?
And will Wolfson's wife's possible action inspire the extremely popular
mayor to endorse Mr. Wolfson as his successor, and possibly catapult her
to a position on the Nevada Supreme Court?
Such speculation is not far
fetched. Former District Court Judge Nancy
M. Saitta (LA Times photo below) was also assigned to multiple
Rizzolo cases (five at the same time) in which he usually prevailed including
David Fau wrongful death case. In November 2006, Saitta was elected
to the Nevada Supreme Court. She was elected after she made the
amazingly prejudicial statement: "Mr. Rizzolo has a good name in the community,"
while she was presiding over a Defamation of Character lawsuit in which
Rizzolo was the Plaintiff, and after she was singled out in the
June 8, 2006, Los Angeles Times story; "In
Las Vegas, they're playing with a stacked judicial deck."
Vegas voters just didn't
seem to care.
election proves my theory, "No bad deed goes un-rewarded in Sin City,"
and I have no doubt that if Judge Glass follows in Siatta's footsteps,
she will also end up on our state's highest court, and her husband will
be our city's next mayor. Remember, Nevada voters also gifted our nation
with United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid!
One of the worst kept Vegas
secrets is that a few local judges can arrange to be "randomly assigned"
to preside over certain cases they desire. An INSIDE VEGAS source at the
Clark County Justice Center explained how it's done.
"Judges are selected to preside
over local cases in a purportedly random manner. As each case is presented
to the court clerk, it's supposed to be given to the next judge in numerical
order. There are 19 District Court judges."
My source continued; "The
court clerk sometimes sets aside special cases that certain judges desire,
and waits until that judge's name is about to appear in numerical order
on the clerk's computer screen, then pulls out the set aside case to be
assigned to that judge. In this way, it's possible that all nationally
televised trials including the Binion and Rudin cases were coincidentally
assigned to former Judge Joseph Bonaventure who loved the spotlight, and
five simultaneous cases involving the Rizzolos were coincidentally assigned
to Judge Saitta until she resigned to take her seat on the Nevada Supreme
On May 28, 2006, Las Vegas
Review-Journal columnist John L. Smith had this to say about Rick Rizzolo
and Judge Siatta's relationship:
"(Mike) Galardi recalled Rizzolo telling him that he had 'taken care of
Saitta.' At a settlement conference, Galardi also recalled, Judge Saitta
gave Rizzolo 'a big hug and kiss like they were friends' "
Back to Judge Glass. You
may remember that it was Judge Glass who sentenced O.J. Simpson to over
nine years in prison for a botched robbery attempt. Here's how The
Associated Press described Glass: "Glass, a no-nonsense judge known
for tough sentences, imposed such a complex series of consecutive and concurrent
sentences that even many lawyers watching the case were confused as to
how much time Simpson got."
Simpson was arrested and
put in jail. Judge Glass set his bail
O.J. Simpson is no angel,
but keep in mind that he had never been convicted of a major crime, and
that he did not injure anyone during the event at the Palace Station Hotel
on September 13, 2007, when he and several other men attempted to recover
sports memorabilia with the use of a gun.
According to AP News;
"But the judge emphasized that it was a violent confrontation in which
at least one gun was drawn, and she said someone could have been shot.
She said the evidence was overwhelming, with the planning, the confrontation
itself and the aftermath all recorded on audio or videotape."
On January 21, 2008, Dominic
Rizzolo stabbed a man in the chest during a botched extortion attempt.
Dominic was arrested, but immediately let out on $15,000 bail. He later
pleaded guilty to "Battery With Use Of A Deadly Weapon."
The stabbing was definitely
a "violent confrontation." It was not a "could have" situation. The victim,
William Moyer, spent six days in intensive care and almost died from his
injuries! Moyer has not been paid for his medical expenses, pain,
or suffering, and the prospect seems unlikely (at this time) because Dominic
Rizzolo has no known assets for Moyer's attorney to seize in the likely
event he would win a civil judgment.
That stated, who should receive
the harshest sentence? Simpson -- for threatening someone with a
gun? Or Dominic Rizzolo for actually stabbing someone in a planned
confrontation, and the aftermath confirmed by his guilty plea? "The
evidence was overwhelming."
The only difference between
the O.J. Simpson case and the Dominic Rizzolo case is that Dominic's case
will not be nationally televised, and that someone actually got hurt.
January 13, will Judge Glass hold true to her description as a "no-nonsense
judge known for tough sentences?" Or will she rule in a way to enhance
her and her husband's political futures? Rick Rizzolo was recently
heard saying that Dominic will "get off with one year probation."
With a new federal administration
to be sworn in on January 20, 2009, judicial integrity should be of the
highest priority. Cases such as Kirk Henry's, and Dominic Rizzolo's should
be looked at carefully by the new administration to assure the public that
organized crime and the political corruption that harbors it will not be
tolerated in 2009 and beyond.
CANON 2 of the Nevada Code
of Judicial Conduct states: "A judge shall avoid impropriety and the appearance
of impropriety in all of the judge’s activities." "A judge shall
respect and comply with the law and shall act at all times in a manner
that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the
Here's a Review-Journal
story about the Federal Court overruling Judge Glass:
|Jan. 03, 2009
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal
Man says Rizzolo is hedging on injury deal
By ADRIENNE PACKER
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
Attorneys representing a tourist left paralyzed after he was beaten
at the Crazy Horse Too claim strip club owner Rick Rizzolo hid his assets
to avoid honoring an agreement to pay the man $10 million.
A federal court judge granted Kirk Henry's request to force Rizzolo
to produce financial documents, including checks, billing invoices, payment
records, engagement letters and transmittal sheets, according to court
U.S. District Judge George Foley gave Rizzolo until Jan. 8 to submit
the paperwork to the court.
FULL STORY with reader's comments: http://www.lvrj.com/news/37036354.html#
Here's another recent Review-Journal
story about the mysterious death of Buffalo Jim Barrier:
Dec. 30, 2008
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal
'BUFFALO JIM' FAMILY MEMBERS UNSATISFIED
Daughter wants investigation into her father's death reopened
By ADRIENNE PACKER
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
The war between Buffalo Jim and his neighbor and landlord Rick Rizzolo
was triggered a decade ago when Rizzolo wanted Barrier off his property
east of Interstate 15 so he could expand his club. Barrier refused to leave.
At the end of the battle, there were no winners.
Rizzolo, owner of the Crazy Horse Too Gentlemen's Club, pleaded guilty
to tax evasion in 2006, spent six months in federal prison and was stripped
of his business. Barrier was found dead in a motel room in April, a day
after Rizzolo was released from prison.
Jennifer Barrier is convinced her 55-year-old father was murdered, and
her family has long pointed a finger at Rizzolo.
FULL STORY with reader's comments: http://www.lvrj.com/news/36871584.html
Listen to: The
Ghost of Buffalo Jim
HAPPY NEW YEAR!