INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
March 10, 2003
"Right now, I'm going to urge all able-bodied constituents to
go out and have a lap dance,"
- Las Vegas Mayor Oscar
Review Journal, November 18, 2001
LAS VEGAS - On March 3, 2003, Clark County District Court Judge Jackie
Glass denied a Motion to stay progress in an Attempted
Murder trial brought against the Crazy Horse Too topless bar in Las
Vegas and its purported owner Frederick
The Defendant's attorney unsuccessfully argued that because there is
an on-going federal criminal investigation of his client, and that he cannot
get documents from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to prepare
his defense, the court should temporarily stop the proceedings.
In the meantime, Kansas resident Kirk Henry,
a quadriplegic who is confined to an electric wheelchair after having his
neck broken on September 20, 2001 by Crazy Horse employees in a dispute
over an $88 bar tab, anxiously awaits his day in court. Henry's attorneys
pleaded that their client's failing health demands that he be given a speedy
To Rizzolo's dismay, Judge Glass agreed with Henry's attorneys and soundly
Denied the politically
influential bar owner's Motion to stay, and promptly scheduled a trial
by jury defiantly stating, "This trial will be number one on the stack!"
Feb. 21, 2003, LV Mayor Oscar Goodman meets with author
in middle of the street
In stark contrast to Judge Glass and her expedited action, on October
25, 2001, shortly after Kirk Henry's beating, I received a call from Las
Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman summoning me to his City Hall office. There he
began the conversation by stating "I'm not doing Joey
Cusumano any favors," though I did not bring up Mr.
The Mayor then asked me how many Show Cause Hearings against liquor
serving establishments I had scheduled during the time I served on the
Vegas City Council. I told him three. He asked what they were for. I told
him that one was for serving minors, one for selling dope, and another
for a bar owner who regularly beat up his patrons. He then ask how many
police calls did it take to inspire me. I said that I would bring a liquor
bar up on a Show Cause if it had recorded several dozen police responses
in a year.
Mayor Goodman then said he was "considering" bringing the Crazy Horse
Too up on a Show Cause. I applauded him for saying such a thing since the
topless bar had on its record 737 police responses including 9
assaults and 6 batteries involving club employees in less than a three
Following that meeting, Goodman took no action against the Crazy Horse
and the violence continued unabated. Then, instead of bringing the trouble
plagued bar before the council to defend its privileged license, Goodman
brought three minority owned markets located in the predominantly black
area of town up on Show Cause Hearings. Each business had only a small
percentage of the police responses of the Crazy Horse, nonetheless Goodman
revoked all three's liquor licenses.
On July 22, 2002, Goodman shocked me when he began doing obvious favors
for Rizzolo. Favors such as sponsoring a custom made ordinance to permit
the Crazy Horse to expand. Soon thereafter, the Mayor protested a county
ordinance banning teenage strippers saying,
"There's no prostitution taking place (at the city clubs) according to
Metro Police, and if there was, they should arrest them, not make some
big fuss as to what some 18-year-old girl is doing to make living." His
action mainly benefited the Crazy Horse.
Following that, Goodman granted Al
Rapuano a license to become a manager at the Crazy Horse even though
Randall Sayre, the Nevada Gaming Control Board Chief of Investigations,
told the council, "It's no secret that we have concerns with some of the
associations that he has," referring to Rapuano's
close association with Nevada Black Book member Joey Cusumano and others.
Goodman ignored Sayre's concerns.
Then a Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) official surfaced
with family ties to the Crazy Horse. The official, Tony
Letizia, is the uncle of Goodman's campaign
manager Tom Letizia. Tom moonlights as the PR
Director of the Crazy Horse. Last month an NDOT plan surfaced that
showed a tax payer funded turn lane, driveway, and traffic signal into
the Crazy Horse. Goodman said nothing. The plan also indicated that eminent
domain would be used to remove a long term tenant who is blocking Rizzolo's
expansion plan. Goodman has often said the city would not use eminent
domain to remove the business, but his campaign manager's uncle is obviously
poised to do the deed if Goodman wants to keep his hands clean.
On Friday, February 21, the day following a federal raid
of the topless bar that was carried out by 80 FBI and IRS agents, Goodman
showed up on my doorstep trying to explain why he has not yet brought the
Crazy Horse up on a Show Cause. He told me that he could not do so during
a federal investigation. I told him his explanation was "Too little, too
late." That many people had been injured since we met in 2001, and he is
I doubt he would have given the same explanation to Judge Glass before
she did the opposite, and expedited a civil trial against Rizzolo. Goodman
was wrong when he used the excuse of the federal investigation to stall
taking action against his obvious friend, Rick Rizzolo. Incidentally, Joey
Cusumano was one of former criminal defense attorney Oscar Goodman's biggest
clients, and Rizzolo has often professed that Joey is his "best friend
in the world." (Oscar, don't you see the "Conflict of Interest?")
Oscar's campaign manager works for Rizzolo. Oscar was the criminal
defense attorney for Cusumano and Joey "the clown" Lombardo, brother
of another of Rizzolo's managers, Rocco
Lombardo. Oscar did not disclose these facts before voting to benefit
Now Mayor Goodman is trying to peddle the theory that its too late for
him to schedule a Show Cause Hearing that would certainly lead to the closing
of his friend's business. If Oscar truly wanted to stop the violence, he
should have taken action over a year ago, but he didn't and the bloodshed
The aborted Show Cause Hearing and the Henry case are both civil actions.
The federal investigation against Rizzolo is a criminal action. One has
nothing to do with the other as was just proven by the decision of Judge
Glass. Furthermore, now that the Mayor has twice acknowledged the need
for the city to take action - then shirked his responsibility - Vegas
taxpayers could be exposed to civil liability in the event someone else
is maimed or killed at the Crazy Horse. As a lawyer, he is more than aware
of this fact.
Kirk Henry's wife Amy, on December 26, 2002, told a national TV audience:
"I canít understand what kind of city or state would allow a place like
this to remain in business."
Evidently, the Mayor of our kind of city was not paying attention.
Copyright © Steve Miller
email Steve Miller at: Stevemiller4lv@aol.com