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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:

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
December 16, 2002

Las Vegas TV News Exposes Rizzolo's Mob Connections

Since 1999, I have been reporting on the corrupting influence on Nevada politicians by topless bar owner Frederick "Rick" Rizzolo. I have also broken numerous stories about violence at Rizzolo's place of business, the Crazy Horse Too in Las Vegas. Mr. Rizzolo sued me in 2001 for accusing him of "illegal and unethical activities." Undaunted, I continued writing my stories.  Rizzolo's attorneys asked an amenable judge to place a "Gag Order" on my reporting, but when the judge looked into the gallery and saw ACLU attorneys and the editor of the Las Vegas Review Journal atttending the hearing, the judge reluctantly backed down and my stories began attracting the attention of media outside Nevada.

The story of the "Pattern of violence" at the Crazy Horse will break nationally in January, but before it does, investigative reporter Glen Meek of KVBC TV News, the top rated news station in Las Vegas, lent his many years of experience to further developing the Crazy Horse story. Below are Glen's findings as told to his vast TV audience in a two-part series on November 22. His report can also be seen on KVBC TV's website via Streaming Video.

News 3 Investigation
Allegations Against 'Crazy Horse Too' (Part 2)
November 22, 2002
Glen Meek Reporting

It's a topless club with a reputation for hard-nosed bouncers -- but do some of the workers have ties to mob figures?
News 3 'Investigator' Glen Meek has been digging deeper into allegations made against the "Crazy Horse Too" topless
club by a man injured there.

Crazy Horse President Rick Rizzolo has admitted rubbing-elbows with men in gaming's "black book" -- and others linked to organized crime. But the company he keeps also includes some of Southern Nevada's top politicians.

Literally behind the glitter of the Crazy Horse Too topless club is the grit of an auto repair shop. It's owned by
Former Pro Wrestler, Buffalo Jim Barrier. From his neighboring business -- Barrier has seen a lot of strange things at
the Crazy Horse. "Yeah, I've seen bouncers out in the parking lot beating people. I've seen people coming into my
place all bloody." Barrier took pictures of a Kansas tourist crumpled in the Crazy Horse parking lot in September of
2001. Kirk Henry's neck was broken as he left the club after a dispute over his tab. He's now a quadriplegic. "The
management of this club should be severely punished for allowing thugs and criminals to beat up the clients that come into this place, and I think the place should be shut down." Henry is suing the Crazy Horse -- alleging there's an environment of lawlessness in the club.

The man suspected of assaulting Henry -- Shift Manager, Bobby D'Apice. D'Apice has previous arrests for domestic
battery, battery on an officer and carrying a concealed weapon. In a videotaped deposition made for Henry's lawsuit,
Crazy Horse President Rick Rizzolo was asked about his hiring of men with criminal backgrounds. "Prior to hiring
your employees do you inquire of them as to what their criminal history is?" "No." "Why not?" "We believe in giving
everybody a shot." "Irrespective of what their criminal histories might be?" "Yeah."

Rizzolo's view on background checks may help explain why there are a number of ex-felons or men with mob ties at
the Crazy Horse. Men like Shift Manager, Vinnie Faraci... son of reputed "Bonnano" crime family soldier... "Johnnie
Green" Faraci of New York." "Does Mr. Faraci have any criminal history?" "Yes." "What is his criminal history?"
"Insurance fraud. I know about that because he was working for me when he was arrested." Crazy Horse bartender
Joe Blasko also has a criminal history. He's a former corrupt Metro cop convicted in the 1980's for taking part in a
mob-run burglary ring. "You know he has a criminal history but you don't know what it's for?" "I think it had
something to do with Bertha's Jewelry store, but I don't remember what -- if you mean the conviction I don't know
what that was all about."

Mr. Rizzolo's memory was also fuzzy about his Shift Manager Ray Randazzo. "Are you aware of Mr. Randazzo's
criminal history?" "I know he has one, I don't know what it's for." "It's for drug trafficking."

Then there's Fred Pascente -- former Chicago cop and former employee of Chicago's version of the Crazy Horse --
which pays Rizzolo a 20-thousand dollar a month consulting fee. You'll find Pascente in Nevada's Black book --excluded from casinos for alleged links to organized crime. "Are you aware of any arrests of Mr. Pascente Las
Vegas?" "Yes." "How is it that you're aware he was arrested?" "I was standing next to him." Rizzolo says he ended
his association with Pascente after his inclusion in the black book.

Then there's Rocco Lombardo, floorman at the Crazy Horse. You may have heard of his brother Joey -- named in published reports as a top advisor to the Chicago mob. "Is that "Joey the Clown"'s Brother?" "I don't know. His
brother's named Joey -- I don't know if he's a clown or not." While professing ignorance of "Joey the Clown" --
Rizzolo was certain to recognize this next name -- until his lawyers shut him up. "Do you know Joseph Cusamano?"
"He's not answering that based on counsel." "Are you refusing to answer the question?" "Yes."

Joseph Cusamano was placed in Nevada's black book in 1990 -- for criminal convictions and alleged mob connections.
You'll note Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman was Cusamano's lawyer at the time. Though Rizzolo has hobnobbed
with black book and mob figures -- his social circle also includes prominent Nevada politicians. Rizzolo's friendship
with City Councilman Michael McDonald -- but McDonald says he's never taken campaign cash from Rizzolo and
doesn't vote on issues involving the Crazy Horse. But Kirk Henry and his wife Amy can't help but wonder if
Rizzolo's political connections keep government officials from taking too close a look at the club's liquor license.
"And I can't understand what kind of city or state would allow a place like this to remain in business."

"The man suspected of hurting Mr. Henry -- has not been charged with anything at this point." He and his lawyer
declined comment. Mr. Rizzolo was advised by his lawyer not to go on camera with us -- but the attorney did fax a
statement that reads in part:

"We strongly dispute the idea that Crazy Horse Too has not done enough to maintain order and civility within the
club." "Given that more than a thousand people a day come to visit the Crazy Horse -- it is unavoidable that the
occasional incident will occur." In this case -- Rizzolo's lawyers suggest Mr. Henry fell in the parking lot -- and was
not attacked.

But our own investigation indicates there are witnesses who saw Henry being assaulted.The FBI and metro would
like to hear from anyone who might have seen what happened to Mr. Henry. The two agencies are working together
on a probe of incidents at the Crazy Horse Too.

URL for text of this KVBC TV story
URL for text and video of KVBC TV's Allegations Against 'Crazy Horse Too' (Part 1)

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