"Caruso said Signorelli has worked out a
lease which includes the right to purchase the Crazy Horse
Too from Rizzolo for $45 million."
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
October 2, 2006
LAS VEGAS - $400,000-a-month rent? Sounds
Rizzolo wants to stay in this game, and continue running his
criminal enterprise from behind bars.
May 31, 2006 - 16 Crazy Horse Too employees plead guilty to conspiring
to defraud the United States. CH2 manager Bobby
DiApice pleads guilty
June 1 - Crazy Horse Too owner Rick
Rizzolo pleads guilty to
conspiring to defraud the United States. His corporation, The Power
Company, pleads guilty to conspiracy to participate in an enterprise
engaged in racketeering activity.
Sept. 6 - Las Vegas City Council permanently revokes the liquor
license of the CH2, and fines Rizzolo $2.2 million dollars.
Sept. 6 - Citizen activist Peter "Chris" Christoff begins scouting
for a location to open the Little Church of Las Vegas.
Sept. 8 - District Judge Mark Denton denies request for temporary
restraining order against the City.
Sept. 12 - District Court denies request for temporary injunction
and upholds license revocation, but lowers fine to $1 million.
Sept. 12 - Crazy Horse attorney Tony Sgro files petition with City
Attorney requesting reconsideration of license revocation.
Sept. 14 - Mayor and Council refuse to reconsider license
Sept. 27 - Little Church of Las Vegas files as non-profit
religious organization with Secretary of State.
Sept. 27 - Little Church of Las Vegas publicly announces its' formation.
Sept. 28, 2006 - 4 PM - City posts council agenda. First official
given of Michael Signorelli having applied for temporary liquor license
to re-open Crazy Horse Too.
"Give me that
good old time religion!" That's what Deacon Peter "Chris" Christoff
told KTNV TV Channel 13 News
when they covered the announcement of his new 1,200 sq. ft. church.
Christoff, a well known community activist since 1987, has steadfastly
represented the most
downtrodden neighborhood in Las Vegas commonly known as the "Naked
City." In his years, he's been instrumental in helping to establish a
community center, but his ultimate dream was delayed until the City
Council's recent action. Then, after what Christoff called "a magnet
for crime" was finally shut down, he claims that Divine Inspiration
caused him to finalize his
dream by helping his friend and Ordained Minister, Rev. William Ahern,
open the first church in the area.
Since I first met Mr. Christoff during my years at City Hall, he's been
broken record repeatedly saying he wants to upgrade quality of life in
the mostly Hispanic low income enclave that sits in
the shadow of the Stratosphere Tower; a neighborhood that until
recently was cursed with
the most trouble plagued business ever allowed to operate in Sin City -
the infamous Crazy Horse Too topless bar.
"Mysteriously, this old thorn in Rick
Rizzolo's side, this crony of Steve Miller, decided to open up the
church?" "They're using the law meant to protect the citizens of Las
Vegas to their own advantage with bad intent. I don't think it's
allowed. This is clearly a pretense, a sham." - Attorney Steve
Caruso, LV Review-Journal, 9/30/06
(I'm always amazed when I'm blamed
without basis for something I didn't do.)
Mr. Caruso. What "law meant to
citizens of Las
Vegas" do you mean?
The one that protects them from robberies, beatings, skimming,
credit card fraud, and embezzlement, Mr. Caruso? Or is the law you
refer to meant to protect your client(s) from "that good old
"I'm worried about this.
If you could close down an establishment like this, this would be a
gross misuse of the law. It would hurt trade -- it would hurt
everything that capitalism stands for." - Attorney Steve Caruso,
KTNV TV News, 9/29/09
Like beating up customers if they refuse
to sign inflated credit card tabs? That's not capitalism, Mr. Caruso.
But Caruso wasn't finished complaining.
"People need to be able to open up a
business and make money." "The Crazy Horse Too is a landmark. It's a
Las Vegas tradition. People come here and that's part of the Las Vegas
-- um -- experience. " - Attorney Steve Caruso, KTNV TV News, 9/29/09
What "um -- experience?"
The experience of coming here to be
robbed, or have their neck broken?
Wake up Mr. Caruso. What about Scott
David Fau who was beaten
to death in 1995
by Crazy Horse bouncers? And of course, the beating of Kirk
Henry whose attorneys Don Campbell and Stan Hunterton made the
following statement in court documents:
"For years, the management and
'security' staff of the Crazy Horse has been infested by a rogues'
gallery of thugs, thieves, drug pushers, and corrupt ex-cops." "Most,
if not all, have well documented ties to organized crime figures who
frequent the premises. All of this has nurtured a culture of violence
marked by robberies, beatings and even death."
(Both Campbell and Hunterton now
hypocritically argue that the CH2 should reopen to make it saleable to
other questionable interests
so they can collect their legal fees for representing Henry. Neither
attorney has mentioned going after Rizzolo's personal assets.)
"People want to come here and they want
to sit and they want to have a drink in the Crazy Horse." -
Attorney Steve Caruso, KTNV TV News,
Yeah, Mr. Caruso, but while they sit to
have a drink, they certainly
don't want some steroid-pumped bouncer threatening their life if they
let the bartender swipe their credit card --
load it to its' max -- then protest the bogus
That's exactly what 16 Crazy Horse Too
employees pleaded guilty to doing. They pleaded guilty to
up 35 to 40 customers in a five year period -- and that's only the
tip of the iceberg. How many others were too embarrassed to file police
reports after being robbed or beaten? Many married men go to such
places, and don't want their wives to know. Maybe that's why the CH2
used the d.b.a. "The Power Company" on its' credit card receipts?
And your client wants to re-open this
Yes, it was recently referred to as a
nuisance" by the City Attorney, and "threat
to the community" by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Anyway, the joint is padlocked, the
violence ended, and nobody around here expects the City Council on
Wednesday Oct. 4 to grant Mr. Caruso's client(s) a temporary liquor
license to re-open the place.
In the meantime, Deacon Christoff and
Reverend Ahern are preparing for their first Sunday
services on Oct. 15, followed by Sunday School, and nightly Bible
studies -- something the residents of Naked City have never had within
I had the pleasure of telling the
story of Peter
Christoff in January
2005 here on AmericanMafia.com. It was one of
courage and selflessness. Mr. Christoff, 72, at his own expense, has
for over 18 years been providing the children and families of what is
officially known as "Meadows Village," yearly Thanksgiving dinners, and
making sure that every child in the village has toys under their
I first met Christoff in the late 80's
when he demanded that school buses safely transport Meadows Village
to an elementary school that was across Main Street and the Strip. He
was terrified that children could get killed
crossing the wide boulevards twice a day, or be molested walking the
dangerous streets in the neighborhood where he owned a small apartment
Even though the school
was within the two mile radius that exempted school bus service, he
would not take no for an answer. I joined his cause, and the Clark
County School District made an exception and yellow school busses began
chris crossing Meadows Village providing safe transport to the children
He has no family of his own, and with only
a sixth grade education, Christoff after two tours in the Marines
made a fortune in the restaurant and real estate business. Though
he speaks no Spanish, he's become a hero of sorts to his Meadows
Now, one of his biggest dreams is
about to become a reality. The Little Church of Las Vegas will open
Mr. Caruso called the church a
"sham" in Saturday's Review-Journal, but Christoff
was unfazed. That same day, I found him shopping for chairs and tables
for his church, and tearing up and replacing the old carpet. When I ask
him about Caruso's remark, Christoff said he understands the lawyer is
just doing his job.
In the meantime, two local Latino
ministers were circulating Spanish language fliers telling of the new
church, and letting parents know of their soon-to-be Sunday
School and Bible classes.
Though the Little Church legally
guarantees the end of the Crazy Horse Too blood bath, that was not
Christoff's initial intention. Since its closure, he's never
anticipated it could re-open!
I was with him on Sept. 6 when the City
Council permanently revoked the CH2's liquor license, and celebrated
with him and Buffalo
Jim Barrier by having our photo taken giving high
five's and victory signs in front of the closed down building.
After the last picture was taken and the
reporters left, Mr. Christoff disappeared into Meadows Village to scout
for a location for his church. At the time he had no idea that his
would doom a quasi-legal attempt to resurrect the violence -- that
three weeks later the suspicious
application for a temporary liquor license would surface in the office
of Business License Manager Jim DiFiori -- a Rizzolo crony at City Hall.
It's understandable why Mr. Caruso and
his client(s) would be enraged. They didn't see Christoff and his
ministers coming. Nor did Christoff expect to be the center of one of
the biggest controversies of the year.
"I just want to be left alone so I can
work with the families and kids who, up until now, have had no church
to call their own. " "Now they can safely walk to the church without
fear of being run over by a drunk or drugged Crazy Horse patron, or
having to walk by passed out people."
Photos taken by Buffalo Jim Barrier on Crazy
Horse Too property,
2000 - 2004
One of the reasons Christoff waited so
long to establish a church was his fear that a child walking to class
services would be run over by a drunken or drugged
Crazy Horse patron.
He once sued
the City for allowing the bar to expand without building permits or
additional parking causing bar customers to park in the nearby high
His suit was dismissed on a technicality when his lawyer mysteriously
failed to show up in court.
Sources say calls to 911 reporting drunk drivers were ignored --
seemingly to protect the Crazy Horse during the Federal investigation.
On several documented occasions, the 911 dispatcher told the caller
that he or she should call Crazy Horse "security" and ask them to call
for police service. In the meantime, the drunk drivers reportedly sped
away through Meadows Village.
This happened after
dozens of requests were made to Mayor Oscar Goodman to enforce
the TIPS or TAM laws at the Crazy Horse, but he did nothing. TIPS
stands for Training for Intervention Procedures by Servers, a course
required by law to be taken by all cocktail servers and bartenders. The
TAM law also requires that a course be taken by all liquor selling
employees. Both are dedicated to reducing alcohol related driving
accidents as required by state law -- but that law evidently did
not apply to the once-politically-influential
Crazy Horse Too.
This week we may have found out why Goodman has been so recalcitrant. A
document just surfaced showing
that Goodman was once the Resident
Agent for The Power Company, in addition to having been Rick
Rizzolo's criminal defense
attorney when he
pleaded guilty to beating a man almost to death with a
But this theory flies in the face of the Mayor's recent testimony in
Court when Crazy Horse attorney Tony Sgro, a Goodman
protégé, called his mentor to the witness
stand to verify that the City and State had plans to take part of the
Crazy Horse property through eminent domain for a road widening.
Sgro's intention was to convince Judge Mark Denton that the City was
conspiring to devalue the property by revoking its' liquor license so
it could take the land at a lesser price.
(Sgro must have neglected to tell Michael Signorelli that a slice of
the land would someday be taken, based on Signorelli's outrageous $45
million purchase offer.)
When asked to verify Sgro's strained theory, Goodman surprised
onlookers by testifying he knew nothing of such a road widening plan,
the attorney's argument. The judge soon dismissed Sgro's motion for a
temporary injunction against the City.
That afternoon, I issued an E-Brief congratulating the Mayor for doing
the right thing,
and he quickly responded saying, "Thanks for the email. I'll continue
to do 'the right thing.'"
And he has!
He's abstained on all items regarding the closure of the
Crazy Horse Too, and will conveniently be out of the country on
Wednesday when Mr. Caruso comes before the Council begging for a
temporary liquor license so his client -- and whoever else he's
representing -- can, most likely, resume the robberies, beatings, and
killings -- the only way the Crazy Horse has known to make money since
it opened in
Christoff says that it was a case of Divine Intervention that ended the
violence. I'm not sure, but whether coincidence or not, Meadows Village
is a much safer place since the Crazy Horse went dark, and Christoff's
humble Little Church took the spotlight.