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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:

Public officials who moon their constituents

Convicted Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona,
Nevada Supreme Court Justice Nancy Saitta,
Clark County District Attorney David Roger,
Clark County District Judge Jackie Glass,
and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman

             Two photos of convicted Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona mooning his constituents
                                                      (Orange County Weekly photos)

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
January 19, 2009

LAS VEGAS - He's best known for paying off politicians, supplying loose women to high rollers, squandering tens of thousands each night in casinos, not paying his bills, and allegedly sharing the purest cocaine known to man with some of his celebrity friends.

Protected racketeer Rick Rizzolo (above on left) is out of prison and seen partying in two cities. And he has something to celebrate. A crooked Vegas judge and DA just let his delinquent son off with probation for trying to kill a man during a botched extortion attempt.

But not everyone close to Rizzolo and his Newport Beach social circle was so lucky. Ousted Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona (shown front and rear above) was just found guilty of felony witness tampering after allegedly sharing his department's classified national crime files with the mob, and appointing Vegas' mob restaurateur Freddie Glusman as an Orange County Deputy Sheriff. Throughout Carona's career, his links to LV mobsters were well reported -- the stuff of legend.

Thanks to Rizzolo and other LV expatriates with homes in Newport Beach, dot-com entrepreneurs in Orange County are learning more than we ever want them to know about nearby Las Vegas -- a town in which we'd love to see them relocate.

While this is going on, our town's village idiot, Mayor Oscar Goodman, is turning us into a laughing stock by making national news asking for Federal Economic Stimulus Plan money to build a museum dedicated to his former (and current) mob clients and cronies.

Not long ago, Goodman said he already had over $40 million in private funds dedicated to his outrageous idea, but who can believe a mob lawyer? Now he says the money should come from the taxpayers. Evidently, most of the private money he bragged about has dried up after his idea became the brunt for national jokes, so now he's going to the the Federal Treasury asking for sixty million tax dollars to memorialize himself and his friends.

I can assure you that a few thousand local war veterans who have been begging for years for an $800,000 Veterans Memorial in a local park take serious issue with Goodman.

But even his staunchest supporter Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (left) is giving the middle finger to the idea despite Reid's best friend and business partner Jay Brown being an alleged associate of organized crime, and Oscar Goodman's law partner.

Intelligent Las Vegas residents have been attempting to attract new, high tech industries to this valley for a long time. However, even with our state's highly favorable tax climate, such industries have not given us a second look. And now a mob museum to bolster our town's image?

The mob is not the only deterrent to attracting diversified new industry. Our expenditure per student is one of the lowest in the nation; high school drop out rate the fifth highest; and our governor just announced a plan to cut 36% from the funding of UNLV.

Then last week, the mayor pops up in the national spotlight with his mob museum, and the San Jose Mercury, the newspaper serving Silicon Valley in California, along with the Orange County Weekly that serves the west coast's other high tech Mecca near Los Angeles, published stories that link our city to the mob.

The Mercury wrote about Dominic Rizzolo, the 26 year old son of racketeer Rick Rizzolo, getting a slap on the wrist for stabbing a man after trying to extort $20,000 with the threat, "Do you know who my family is?. The Weekly wrote about Rick Rizzolo's pal, ousted Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona, being convicted of a felony.

This kind of news in the heartland of high tech industry certainly does little to bolster confidence in our judicial system, quality of life, or attract educated new residents and clean non-gambling industry to our town. Instead, Vegas comes across as a lawless place with rampant political corruption and a brain dead local citizenry

Las Vegas is also a one horse town with a single predominant industry -- gambling. Casinos report a 57.3% drop in gambling revenue in 2008, and no other source of revenue exists to support Nevada's infrastructure. Dominic Rizzolo is the image of the new Las Vegas in Silicon Valley, and his father Rick Rizzolo and Mike Carona are our new image in Orange County, California; another Mecca for computer based technology.

Dominic Rizzolo's case was originally assigned to Clark County District Court Judge Douglas Herndon, but at the last minute and without explanation, on December 28, the case was reassigned to Judge Jackie Glass (left), wife of one of Mayor Oscar Goodman's cronies, Councilman/criminal defense attorney Steve Wolfson.

Everyone thought Dominic was about to be sent to prison because last December, Glass threw the book at O.J. Simpson. But without the national media in her court, she obviously bowed to political pressure and sentenced Rizzolo to probation.

At 9:30 AM, PST on Tuesday, January 13, 2009, Judge Glass looked at this writer seated in the back of her courtroom and stated: "I as a judge have some concerns about this deal."

She then looked back at the baby faced Defendant standing before her and proceeded to sentence Dominic to a 24 month suspended sentence and 5 years probation for pleading guilty to stabbing William Moyer on January 21, 2008.

No mention was made of laws against carrying a concealed weapon. Police said prosecutors should consider attempted murder and conspiracy charges, but District Attorney David Roger and Judge Glass ignored their requests.

Judge Glass called the case by reference to the name of the Defendant's attorney. Laughter suddenly filled the courtroom when local mob lawyer Tony Sgro stepped to the bar.

The judge and Sgro momentarily exchanged off the record pleasantries. Judge Glass was overheard very quietly uttering the words: "Spending quality time," and "No foot rub, " to Sgro. The rest of her friendly comments were inaudible. The two shared a laugh. I have no idea what she meant.

I consider this unofficial banter worth mentioning in light of the minimum sentence this "no-nonsense judge known for tough sentences" proceeded to apologetically give Sgro's client.

A young female attorney representing Clark County District Attorney David Roger dutifully told the court that "The state had no opposition to probation and restitution."

Then there was discussion about Dominic paying University Medical Center directly for Mr. Moyer's three hour emergency surgery and six days in intensive care. No mention was made of Rizzolo paying Moyer for pain and suffering; follow up care; and loss of income during his months of recovery.

It was stated that Dominic is "gainfully employed in Florida," words that should inspire Moyer's attorney to hire investigators in that state to find out if Rizzolo has a bank account and assets that can be liened in the sure event Moyer would win a civil law suit against his confessed assailant.

But most important was the fact that Judge Glass had the authority to send Dominic to prison -- but didn't

Glass looked me straight in the eye when she tried to explain her reason. She said that she had no other choice than to go along with DA David Roger's recommendation to give Dominic Rizzolo probation. It was obvious she was trying to patronize her critics by passing the blame to the DA, then said "The facts in this case are troubling."

If the facts troubled her, she need not go along with the DA's wishes. According to a veteran criminal defense attorney; "The judge has complete sentencing latitude unless the plea bargain was marked 'binding,' indicating the judge participated in and pre-approved the bargaining conditions."

Dominic's plea bargain was not marked "binding."

Judge Glass almost whispered when she suggested that in two years, Rizzolo's attorney come back and request she withdraw Dominic's felony plea and replace it with a gross misdemeanor. No one asked her to do this, at least not in open court. She voluntarily made this offer.

Even Judge Glass' criminal defense attorney husband Steve Wolfson (shown on left with his mentor Oscar Goodman) disagrees with her coddling a dangerous criminal. On his law firm's website, he clearly states: "People convicted of violent crimes have their prison sentences impacted by the harm done to their victims." "Any person who uses a... deadly weapon... in the commission of a crime shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a term equal to and in addition to the term of imprisonment prescribed by statute for the crime."

Wolfson's wife-the-judge had the option to heed his words instead of sending a confessed thug back out onto the streets to possibly harm another innocent victim. But she chose to do otherwise.

Her husband is interested in succeeding Rick Rizzolo's former criminal defense attorney-cum-mayor Oscar Goodman, and will need Goodman's endorsement and financial help to be elected our next mayor.

When Judge Glass looked me in the eye and almost apologized for the sentence she was about to render, then blamed the absent DA, I remembered that Dominic is the son of the man who in 2003 raised over $50,000 for then-candidate David Roger's campaign to become Clark County's next District Attorney and later to be Dominic Rizzolo's prosecutor!  I couldn't help but wonder if Glass, Roger, Goodman, and Wolfson were involved in a quid pro quo?

One week after Dominic was sentenced, in another case, DA Roger was quoted stating: no one is above the law. However, the person he was referring to, and O.J. Simpson, were not the son of his major political fundraiser, and did not employ Tony Sgro who donated space for Roger's political campaign office.

Goodman's early career was bolstered by friends of Rick Rizzolo who paid him handsomely to keep them on the street in order to continue their criminal activities. At the time, he was known for charging one half million dollar retainers -- much of which was allegedly paid to crooked judges including Goodman's mentor, disgraced Federal Court Judge Harry Claiborne, Goodman's first law partner. In return, Goodman seemed to always win his cases though his presentation in court was inferior to most other local criminal defense attorneys.

"I apologize, and accept responsibility," stated Dominic Rizzolo after hearing the young Deputy District Attorney recommend that her boss David Roger wanted him to get probation.

Then Judge Glass said, "Don't get in any more trouble or we'll see you again," while giving him 20 hours a month of community service; requiring him to maintain a curfew; take an anger management course; and have no contact with his victim or the victim's family.

Dominic Rizzolo stabbed a man in the chest with a six inch switch blade knife. The man almost died from his wound.

An accomplice of O.J. Simpson threatened several men with a gun. No blood was drawn.

A court house source told me that robberies such as Simpson's happen every day in local hotels. If no one is physically injured, the perpetrator -- if he has no criminal history -- usually gets probation. Also, that the DA's and Department of Parole and Probation's recommendation is not set in stone.

Neither Simpson or Dominic Rizzolo had a previous felony conviction. But that's where the similarity ends.

My court house source told me that Dominic Rizzolo's attempted murder case was "ten times more serious" than Simpson's because someone almost died.

Simpson got over 9 years for threatening someone with a gun during a robbery. Dominic got probation for sticking a knife in a man's chest during an extortion attempt.

"If you have any trouble with your probation, I will send you to state prison," were Judge Glass' "tough" parting words to Dominic.

Most telling was that not one member of Dominic Rizzolo's family was present in court when he was sentenced. Also, the District Attorney's office did not bother to interview victim William Moyer at any time since the January 21, 2008 stabbing. These two facts make it perfectly clear that the fix was in.

And according to the Review-Journal, DA Roger also ignored the Metro Police request that Rizzolo be prosecuted for attempted murder and conspiracy!

Dominic called Moyer to see if he was home before driving to Moyer's house in an SUV with the license plate covered by a T-shirt. That qualifies as a conspiracy.

As a small consolation, we can now clearly identify two very corrupt politicians by their actions: Judge Glass and District Attorney Roger. Both violated the public's trust and demonstrated that they are not fit to serve in public office.

Unfortunately, based on our town's history, I predict both Glass and Roger will follow in the footsteps of other corrupt local politicians including Oscar Goodman and Nancy Siatta, and be rewarded by election or appointment to higher office.

Remember it was then-Clark County District Court Judge Saitta that somehow presided over five concurrent "randomly" assigned cases in which Rick Rizzolo was a party. In one case, a defamation of character action brought by Rizzolo against his next door neighbor the late Buffalo Jim Barrier, Saitta made this prejudicial statement on the record: "Mr. Rizzolo has a good name in the community." She was later observed at Rizzolo's Canyon Gate estate hugging and kissing her generous host. Shortly thereafter, Saitta was elected to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Saitta is also the judge who instructed the jury to not consider blunt force trauma as the cause of Scott David Fau's death following his 1995 beating by Rick Rizzolo's bouncers behind the now-defunct Crazy Horse Too topless bar.

Speaking of "foot rubs," last Thursday, January 15, Rick Rizzolo's ex-wife Lisa filed a document in Federal Court stating she would not reveal the whereabouts of her and and her husband's hidden assets unless unpaid beating victim Kirk Henry's attorneys signed a Confidentiality Agreement. She did so in complete defiance of an earlier court ORDER.

According to her latest document, she fears that "other individuals" would be named if she complied with Federal Judge Foley's ORDER.

Could some of those "other individuals" possibly be public officials who like to moon their constituents?
Case 2:08-cv-00635-PMP-GWF Document 60 Filed 01/15/2009 Page 7 of 10

At present, the only information which has not been disclosed, is that which Ms. Rizzolo is concerned is subject to privacy issues which she does not have the authority to ignore because they involve the financial information of Rick Rizzolo which he himself refused to disclose to Plaintiff or third parties unrelated to this action. That information includes potential insurance beneficiary information (Request to Produce No. 11), 2 joint trust agreements and individual trust agreements involving other individuals (Request to Produce Nos. 13 & 16).                 (Emphasis added by SM)

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