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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:

Were District Attorney David Roger
and Judge Jackie Glass bribed?

"Defendant Has Stayed Out of Trouble"
"Early Termination From Probation"
"Credit For Time Served"
"Gross Misdemeanor"

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
July 5, 2010

LAS VEGAS - The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary describes "Recidivism" as "A tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior; especially: relapse into criminal behavior."

The setting free of Dominic Rizzolo four years before the end of his sentence may someday exemplify the meaning of the word "recidivism."

When the delinquent son of a rich criminal is coddled by a district attorney and a judge, the probability of him committing another heinous crime increases exponentially. Such coddling also raises deserved suspicion about the current state of our local criminal justice system.

Dominic, the 26 year old son of convicted racketeer Rick Rizzolo, pleaded guilty in a January 2009 plea bargain to Felony Battery With Use Of A Deadly Weapon for stabbing William Moyer in the upper abdomen during a botched extortion attempt that occurred one year earlier.

There was no trial.

According to the victim, at approximately 10 PM, January 21, 2008, Dominic Rizzolo drove to William Moyer's home in a dark colored SUV with the license plate covered by a T-shirt.

Moyer, 26,  had received a phone call on the night of the stabbing asking if he was staying home that evening? Fifteen minutes later, Rizzolo knocked at his door. (The phone call and covering of the license plate show premeditation).

Moyer's mother answered the door and summoned her son. The two men conversed on the front lawn for several minutes until Rizzolo asked Moyer, "Do you know who my family is?" then demanded $20,000.

Moyer said he refused the demand and ordered Rizzolo off the property. Rizzolo struck Moyer in the face with his fist. A fight ensued in which Rizzolo pulled a six inch switchblade knife and stabbed Moyer.

Dominic fled the scene and was arrested six weeks later while staying at the home of Rick Belcastro, an associate of Rick Rizzolo.  Dominic was booked and immediately released on his own recognizance. His attorney posted $13,000 bail after the district attorney lodged no objection to Rizzolo's release.

One year after the stabbing, Rizzolo family attorney Tony Sgro arranged Dominic's plea bargain with District Attorney David Roger. During that year, Dominic did not spend one day in jail even though his victim suffered substantial bodily harm that incapacitated him for several weeks.

This was a premeditated crime involving use of a concealed weapon, substantial bodily harm, and an assailant who fled the scene. It would have been an easy case for any district attorney to prosecute.

In 2007, Tony Sgro donated a re-election headquarters to Roger who was running for his second term, and Tony was one of his most effective fund raisers.

During Roger's first campaign in 2002, Rick Rizzolo held two fund raisers in which he generated over $45,000 in donations mostly from adult business owners. Keep in mind that owners of adult businesses usually prefer to deal in cash.

I wrote a May 8, 2002 editorial entitled "The company he keeps" exposing Rizzolo's participation in Roger's first campaign for DA.

The revelation of the Rizzolo/Roger connection started a firestorm.

After his political opponent distributed the editorial, Roger told reporters that he returned the money.

The February 21, 2003 Las Vegas Review-Journal reported: "District Attorney David Roger accepted money from Rizzolo but returned it during last year's campaign."

The May 30, 2003 Las Vegas SUN reported: "When District Attorney David Roger ran for office last year, Rizzolo and other adult club operators stood in line to throw money at his campaign. Roger collected $45,000 from the clubs until his opponent made an issue out of the contributions, and Roger realized it wouldn't look good being close to businesses his office helps regulate. So he gave the money back."

Rizzolo had a good reason for supporting certain district attorney candidates. The DA has sole discretion over what cases will be prosecuted that are presented to his office by the police.

On Sept. 6, 2006 Las Vegas City Attorney Brad Jerbic, informed the LV City Council: "35 to 40 beatings had occurred at Crazy Horse Too in three years."

Many of the victims filed complaints with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.  When the police determined Probable Cause existed, they filed Request for Prosecution documents with the district attorney.

On October 3, 2001, I broke the story of the beating of Kansas tourist Kirk Henry. Several days after "Another beating reported at local topless bar" was published, Lt. John Alamshaw. twenty-three-year LVMPD veteran in charge of robbery, told me that five LVMPD Requests for Prosecution of Crazy Horse Too employees were sitting on the desk of then-District Attorney Stewart Bell. One of the requests involved the crippling of Kirk Henry.

I conducted a television interview of Stewart Bell in December 2002 following his election as a Clark County District Court Judge. When asked about the five Crazy Horse Too cases, Bell stated that he believed there was probable cause to prosecute all five cases, but would leave that decision up to incoming DA David Roger.

In January 2003, Roger denied all five LVMPD Requests for Prosecution involving the Crazy Horse Too including the Henry case.

Based on his method of doing business, Rick Rizzolo needed all the help he could get to stay open, and a friendly DA can find a miriad of quasi-legal reasons to deny a case for prosecution.

It was confirmed by the United States Department of Justice that throughout the years the Crazy Horse Too operated, employees "through threats of violence and through the actual use of force" extorted money from club patrons. Dozens of complaints were filed, but none were prosecuted by the three DA's who have served since the club opened in 1978.

Even after the robberies and beatings started making front page news, and a story appeared on Dateline NBC, David Roger refused to prosecute anyone associated with the club  -- a possible quid pro quo for Rizzolo and Sgro's campaign fund raising efforts -- or worse.

The FBI finally took action in lieu of Roger's refusal to prosecute.  In 2005, Rick Rizzolo plea bargained with federal prosecutors and received a one year prison sentence for tax evasion. His corporation pled guilty to racketeering, but the topless club remained in business with Dominic Rizzolo and his uncle Ralph secretly in charge.

On June 1, 2007, in order to permanently end the violence, the Crazy Horse Too was shut down by the City of Las Vegas, and the property seized by the United States Department of Justice.  It has remained dark ever since.

Knowing the Rizzolos were no strangers to violence, Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass sentenced Dominic Rizzolo to five years in the Nevada State Prison, but suspended his sentence after DA Roger refused to treat the crime seriously.

Roger did not subpoena the victim William Moyer to testify in court, and according to Moyer, the DA never bothered to interview him during the twelve months it took to bring this case to sentencing.

There's also a question about a never-filed concealed weapons charge? Dominic was carrying the switchblade knife in his back pocket on the night of January 21, 2008. Nowhere in his court records is this mentioned.
(Go to: Type in Rizzolo, Dominic)

NRS 202.350 - Crimes against public health and safety - carrying concealed weapon without permit: "It is unlawful for a person within this state to: carry concealed upon his person ...any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as (a) switchblade knife."

On January 13, 2009, at Dominic's sentencing (12 months after the stabbing), Judge Glass stated that she "has concerns about the negotiations (with Roger), but will follow them pursuant to the agreement of counsel."

Judge Glass then went against Nevada Revised Statutes Section 200.481 - Crimes and Punishments, and sentenced Dominic to five years probation and community service to be carried out in Orlando, Florida where he was offered a job at a time shrare company owned by Marco Manzi, an associate of Rick Rizzolo.

NRS 200.481 succinctly states: "(2) Substantial bodily harm to the victim results, for a category B felony by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 2 years and a maximum term of not more than 15 years, and may be further punished by a fine of not more than $10,000."

This law was completely ignored by Judge Glass who had the discretion to follow NRS no matter what the DA recommended. She didn't even impose the $10,000 fine!

Nine months into his Florida "sentence," Judge Glass, in an empty court room, again agreed with DA Roger's recommendation, and waived Dominic's community service requirement more than four years before it was due to expire. Then she abruptly closed the case!

This is the same judge and DA who in 2008 threw the book at O.J. Simpson sentencing him to nine years in prison even though no one was injured in the armed robbery and kidnapping at the Palace Station.

               Rick Rizzolo                                Dominic Rizzolo                             David Roger

According to the Jan. 14, 2009, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police asked Roger to prosecute Dominic for attempted murder and conspiracy.

But the DA ignored the police request, just like the Judge ignored the NRS.

As reported in the May 21, 2006, Las Vegas SUN: "In a deposition that Rizzolo gave in the (Kirk) Henry case in July 2005, he said the club (Crazy Horse Too) grossed $800,000 to $1 million a month, which translates to annual gross sales of $9.6 million to $12 million."

The IRS says Rick Rizzolo still owes over $6 million in unpaid taxes, interest, and penalties. Based on his plea to tax evasion, it's clear that most of Rick's millions were skimmed from the club's gross sales, and it's not far fetched to assume that some of that cash might have made its way into the hands of certain district attorneys and judges over the years as evidenced by the Rizzolo's uncanny ability to avoid meaningful legal penalties.

As an example, between 1985 and 2008, at least four serious acts of violence involving the Rizzolo family or their business have been met with refusal to prosecute by three local DA's.

The Dec. 15, 2005 Orange County Register reported: "Rizzolo pleaded guilty to attacking a man with a baseball bat in 1985."

In 1989, then-DA Rex Bell refused to prosecute Rick Rizzolo for beating Rick Sandlin with a baseball bat. Three years after the attack, Sandlin died of his injuries, but Rizzolo walked away with only a gross misdemeanor. His attorney was former mob lawyer Oscar Goodman who later became the Mayor of Las Vegas. At the time, Goodman was known for requiring a $500,000 retainer in order to take a criminal defense case.

On Aug. 4, 1995, long haul truck driver Scott Fau was beaten to death by Crazy Horse Too bouncers. Then-DA Stewart Bell (no relation to Rex Bell) refused to prosecute, and the assailants went free.

On Sept. 20, 2001, Kansas tourist Kirk Henry had his neck broken by a Crazy Horse Too manager after disputing a padded bar tab. Las Vegas police requested that the case be prosecuted as an attempted murder. In January 2003, the case was given to newly elected DA David Roger who immediately dropped all charges. The FBI disagreed with Roger and took the case which later convicted Bobby D'Apice in U.S. Federal Court of two counts of battery with substantial bodily harm.

Then on January 21, 2008, Dominic Rizzolo tried to kill William Moyer who was unarmed. Rizzolo's switchblade knife came within one half inch of Moyer's aorta. Moyer almost died from his injuries. (Click HERE to read Moyer's six page hospital record). Following Dominic's delayed arrest that occurred six weeks after the stabbing, DA David Roger refused to vigorously prosecute the case, opening the door for Judge Glass to aloofly minimize the penalties.

I grew up in Las Vegas. Over the past fifty years, I've served in elected and appointed positions in the City of Las Vegas and Clark County governments. For my service, I received the coveted "Most Effective Public Official" award. As a reporter and commentator for over three decades, I've covered local political and crime news for Las Vegas and national media outlets. So I believe I understand the inner workings of this town.

I believe there's ample information in the above described cases to show that several district attorneys and at least one local judge shirked their responsibility to enforce the law in cases involving the Rizzolos. Please take a few minutes to read the material I have linked to in this column. The evidence is overwhelming! The coddling of Dominic Rizzolo by DA Roger and Judge Glass speaks louder than words.

I do not claim to personally be able to prove certain public officials were bribed (cash is too hard to trace), and whatever inspired these elected officials to obviously violate their oaths of office may never be known. However, questions deserve to be raised because the appearance of their impropriety is self evident, and the results of their actions remain to be seen.

With so little of a lesson learned, I predict we've not heard the last of crimes committed by Dominic Rizzolo. And if he again tries to take someone's life, the victim's blood will be on the hands of Judge Jackie Glass and District Attorney David Roger.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Steve Miller has written several columns that mentioned Dominic Rizzolo. The following messages were sent to Steve immediately following each column in which Dominic Rizzolo was mentioned. Steve filed reports regarding the messages with the Organized Crime Bureau of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and the FBI. He did not file reports with the office of the Clark County District Attorney.
From: Melissa Hicks <> 
Subject:    Dominic Rizzolo 

This is Dominic Rizzolo. You have some nerve calling anyone a coward especially my best friend Benny Benhen (sp) [1]. It was you (steve miller) who gave up his own daughter for cocaine that was found in your possession in a car you were driving [2]. If that isnt (sp) the definition of a cunt and a coward then i dont (sp) know what is. Why dont (sp) you make a copy of this email and put it on your website so that people can see just what kind of person your (sp) are. If you were to see any of us around you would scurry like a frightened rabbit.
Dominic Rizzolo


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