"Mr. Clean Face;"
Missing police report; Buffalo wins another judgment; "Oscar's
Speakeasy;" and Mayor obstructs justice.
VEGAS by Steve Miller
February 20, 2006
been a very busy two weeks in Sin City and Philly. New information
surfaced about who purportedly owns the Crazy Horse in Philadelphia,
and there are questions as to whether he's the latest version of "Mr.
Clean Face." Otherwise, not much is new when it comes to an alleged
shooting inside the Vegas Crazy Horse several weeks back other than a
confirmation that Crime Scene tape was affixed to the front entrance
for several hours, and the police do not want to talk about it claiming
an investigation is underway -- an excuse that's starting to sound like
a broken record when it comes to this trouble plagued business.
Then there's the story of the elderly lady who doesn't want to sell her
land to the mayor's family, and the latest threat of eminent domain
But what may be the straw that breaks the camel's back is a criminal
the Sin City government currently
being conducted by the Nevada Department of Justice, specifically
looking at Mayor Oscar Goodman's effort to do a big favor for one of
his former criminal defense clients.
Here are the stories along with my personal
Piazza planned to sell his interest all
A reliable source
in Philadelphia tells me that Vince
, the father of baseball great Mike Piazza, planned to sell
his 100% ownership in the Philly Crazy Horse Too liquor license from
start. Vince merely was the deal maker and planned to get out after it
was set up, I am told. However, in cases like this, at least in LV
where one of
the players is in trouble with the Feds, a "Mr. Clean Face" sometimes
appears at licensing hearings as the applicant. That's apparently what
happened in Philly. Piazza was the sole licensee, not the
about-to-indicted Rick Rizzolo
brags he owns the joint. Based on this revelation, I hope the
Liquor Control Board realizes they may have been duped, and takes
special interest in whoever buys out Piazza's
interest. It may have been the plan all along for Piazza to secure the
license as a favor, then sell it to a La Cosa Nostra interest brought
in by Rizzolo, et.al. As in Vegas, it probably won't be known for some
time who actually owns the Philly Crazy Horse Too.
Metro detective says investigation is
information is coming in regarding an incident that occurred on
Sunday, January 29 at the Las Vegas Crazy Horse Too.
A Vegas Metro PD detective states that police closed the business
for several hours after an incident occurred inside the club at around
Several witnesses who do not wish to be identified say an African
American patron became involved in an altercation with club bouncers,
and was injured in the melee. It has not been confirmed whether a fire
arm was involved, but the presence of police Crime Scene tape around
the entrance of a building is usually reserved for gun related
The detective would not release the Incident Report saying the matter
is still under investigation. In the meantime, the story goes
unreported as may be the plan, especially at a time when both Crazy
Horse's are for sale, and indictments are pending.
Buffalo wins thirteenth judgment against Rizzolo
(CLICK on image
is getting ridiculous! Buffalo Jim Barrier, the guy who owns the garage
next to the Vegas Crazy Horse, keeps winning judgments
against Rick Rizzolo who just won't stop towing the former pro wrestler's customer's cars.
According to Barrier's attorney Robert W. Louke, the
above judgment is number thirteen (after several appeals were lost by
Rizzolo), but the towing and lawsuits continue. This time its $867,
plus the legal fees Rizzolo paid to the prestigious law firm of Patti and Sgro .
These judgments fly in the face of Rick's dad Bart who in 1997 said,
has never been a suit filed that we haven't beaten and I'm hoping our
record will stay that way."
13 - 0
its Buffalo Jim bragging, "Excuse me!
has never been a suit we filed that we haven't won and I'm hoping our
record will stay that way!"
(L to R Bart Rizzolo,
Buffalo Jim Barrier)
When it comes to ruthless, cold hearted misuse of eminent domain, the
City of Las Vegas takes dubious honors
And when it comes to fighting
the laws intended to put murderers behind bars, former mob lawyer Oscar
is equally cold hearted, so I have little hope he will find
empathy for another elderly woman.
First it was Greek immigrant Carol
who at the hands of Goodman's
predecessor Jan Jones lost her Las Vegas Blvd. corner to the Downtown
casinos for a parking garage. Now its French immigrant Christina
who is possibly facing the same fate.
Christina Von Sturm's property threatened by eminent domain
On the surface, Christina is
being asked to sacrifice her property to
make way for a purported "supermarket." But this is much more likely
just a ploy to scare the elderly woman into liquidating her vacant
restaurant and bar for a much more secret purpose, and at a price way
below market value.
Movie actor Joe Pesci and Mayor Oscar Goodman have been rumored to be
interested in going into partnership in "Oscar's Speakeasy," a downtown
bar that has long been a dream of our mayor.
Carol Pappas' property taken by eminent domain in 1994
If Goodman is elected to a national office (he's rumored to be
running for US Senate), he can proceed with his
dream. But if he stays mayor, its a conflict of interest.
"Chez Christina" was a highly successful restaurant once owned by
former dancer Christina and her late husband. When Mr. Von Sturm passed
away, Christina's family leased the building to a company that opened
the "British Bull Dog" pub. When the pub closed, they left a completely
equipped, immaculate venue that Mayor Goodman is reportedly drooling
However, Christina's family is not interested in selling her property
at the price offered by Goodman's son Ross and his partner Louie
Palazzo, so the Goodman Law Firm filed a Lien Lis Pendens on her
property claiming the 85 year old woman made a verbal contract with
In the meantime, there's the threat of the city taking the property for
a supermarket -- something the Draconian new
eminent domain law
passed by the US Supreme Court considers a proper use.
My guess is that the supermarket idea is nothing more that a ruse to
scare Christina's family into selling at Goodman's price. There are
many other Downtown locations just as suitable for a supermarket.
It that's true, the Downtown Redevelopment Agency may threaten to take
the property, but change its mind at the last
minute as a favor to Goodman who is its chairman. The taxpayers will
pay the City's
(Goodman's) legal fees, while Christina is left to fend on her own. By
then, Christina and her family might be weakened to the point of taking
Goodman's low ball offer, or at least that's what might be anticipated.
Weakened morally and financially, the grand dame is probably expected
to acquiesce -- the same strategy used on Carol Pappas. But I know
Christina and her family, and I believe she
will have the last laugh in this sad story as did Carol Pappas.
After millions of taxpayer dollars were spent fighting Mrs. Pappas all
the way to the US Supreme Court, the City finally was forced to pay her
$4.5 million for her property. I hope Mrs. Von Sturm is equally
A.G.'s no-show denotes ongoing criminal investigation
When item # 58 was
called at Wednesday morning's Las Vegas City Council
meeting, there were no representatives present from the Nevada Attorney
General's office or the law firms conducting the investigation into
Billy Walters' sweetheart deal. This inspired comments from council
members that the A.G. was showing disrespect to the mayor and council.
In April 2005, Mayor Goodman
said, "I can't take action in the middle
of a federal investigation" when asked why he would not hold a public
hearing into illegal activities at the Crazy Horse Too. Wednesday he
angered because the A.G. would not participate in a public hearing in
the middle of an investigation!
Oscar, you can't have it both ways
If it was not proper
for the council to conduct public inquiries about
Goodman's former clients at the Crazy Horse, then why would it have
conduct a public inquiry into what now appears to be a
political corruption investigation being conducted by the Nevada
Attorney General into why Goodman's former law client and current
political campaign fund raiser was about to receive a windfall at the
expense of the taxpayers?
expresses disappointment after the city
a decision on whether to rescind
a deed restriction to
allow him to build 1000
land he purchased for $5,600 acre for a
"golf course." ( MATTHEW MINARD
To try to bring the A.G. before his
council to discuss the intricacies
of their ongoing investigation, and not bring the Crazy Horse before
the council to discuss ongoing atrocities, shows complete hypocrisy on
the part of our mayor.
On April 26,
2005, Oscar Goodman made a surprise first-time visit to
Steve's home. In the street, Steve scolded
Goodman for protecting
his former clients at the Crazy
Horse Too. Goodman's excuse for
not taking action against the bar's license? "I can't take action
in the middle of a federal investigation." However, one year
earlier, the city council fined Crazy Horse competitor Jack
one million dollars in the middle of a federal
photo by Mike Christ)
The A.G. is correct in keeping a lid on this political corruption
investigation until its completion. The only public hearings thereafter
should be in a court of law.
In the meantime, the mayor scheduled another council discussion on the
subject of purported "attorney client privilege" to take place March 1.
item will discuss the merits of withholding requested information from
the A.G.'s investigators based on what the City Attorney (actually
attorney client privilege, but its more like obstruction of justice!
What have they got to hide?
Goodman uncooperative in Walters
"From the inception I have said we
would give full disclosure." "We
have nothing to hide."
documents for ten weeks
Goodman has said that once the
investigation is over, he wants to bring back the original proposal
allowing Walters to turn Royal Links Golf Club into a housing
"The day before we were indicted, my
attorney (Goodman) tried to contact the Strike Force to say we would be
willing to turn ourselves in." - Billy Walters on Oscar Goodman
- The National Sports Daily
"If I have a choice, if you
know somebody and they're honorable, and
you've done business with them in the past, they get the best of it."
- Mayor Oscar Goodman on Billy Walters - LV
I broke the Billy Walters "Sweetheart Land Deal" story in 1999, and at
that time predicted that the deed restriction was a ploy, and that it
would someday be rescinded as a political favor. That day has come.
Mayor Goodman is obviously obstructing justice as a favor to a former
client by withholding official documents from his fellow city council
According to Councilman Steve Wolfson, the council did not receive
their carbon copies of letters from investigators. However the mayor
did receive his letters, and stated at Wednesday's council meeting that
he turned them over to the city attorney saying, "I turned it over to
the city attorney's office for response. They're lawyers, and that's
what mayors and council people are supposed to do when we get a letter
concerning an inquiry like this."
Says who? At least three of the councilmembers have I.Q's above room
temperature, and should have been given the opportunity to review this
correspondence before it was turned over to the mayor's stooge, City
Attorney Brad Jerbic.
The mayor also alluded that the A.G. was wasting taxpayer's money by
burdening the city clerk with having to produce thousands of documents.
But who is really responsible for inspiring this investigation and its
costs in the first place? Oscar Goodman -- who now shoots the messenger
Furthermore, in the following letter the chief investigator writes,
"you stated that the public simply would not understand the attorney
By saying this to two attorneys in his office, the mayor insulted the
Why did Goodman refuse to share the correspondence with his council --
including attorney/councilman Steve Wolfson? Did he feel they were also
ignoramuses who could not understand its meaning?
Its time one or more of the council members, especially Steve Wolfson
and Lois Tarkanian who first called for the probe, to publicly take
Goodman to task. What are they afraid of? (I would have done it
in a hearbeat when I was on the
Las Vegas Review-Journal
editorial cartoon by Jim Day
We need to know what the mayor is hiding?
LETTER POSTED ON KLAS TV WEBSITE
(Bold and red type inserted by Steve Miller for
|SENN MEULEMANS LLP attorneys
Three Embarcadero Center, Suite 310
San. Francisco, CA 94111.4039
February 13, 2006
Mayor Oscar B .
400 Stewart Avenue
Vegas, NV 89101
Re.- Royal Links
Dear Mayor Goodman:
Thank you for your
phone call last
week. Before addressing the content of that phone conversation, a few
general comments are in order. It was our distinct impression when the
Las Vegas City Council rescinded its approval of the Walters Group's
proposal to convert the Royal Links golf course to a high density
subdivision, that the City Council was sincerely interested in
obtaining all of the underlying facts regarding that controversial
transaction. However, we are very
concerned that there has been
considerable and unnecessary delay and a lack of cooperation with this
investigation and we would like to bring these facts to your
To begin, soon after this
investigation was made public, a document production request was issued
by the Attorney General's office, on November 29, 2005. This document
production request, which we attach for your convenient reference, was
sent to the City Attorney's Office more than two months ago; yet we
still have not received any documents other than those relating to the
limited Metro investigation. Several inquiries have been
made at the
City Attorney's office about the status of these documents and each
time we have been told that the document production is being processed
and will be available soon. As I am
certain you can appreciate, this
(now almost three month) delay in producing responsive documents has
significantly delayed the investigation.
In our February
2, 2006 meetings
with the City Attorney's Office, we were subsequently informed there
are several relevant documents that
would not be produced to us due to
an alleged attorney-client privilege. When we inquired as to who
asserting the privilege, we were told that the City Manager, Doug
Selby, had asserted the privilege. Accordingly, we requested that a
"privilege log" be prepared by the City Attorney's Office, describing
the date and nature of the documents not produced. Despite assurances
we would receive a customary privilege log, to date, we have received
As recently as
10, 2006, in a meeting with Chief Deputy City Attorney Bill Henry, we
were told that although the document production was nearly complete,
the "clerk's procedure" required that there be a cover letter which was
not yet ready, so the documents could not be released. When further
inquiry was made about the privilege log, we were told that it also was
not available. We were informed by Mr. Henry that a privilege
be prepared "sometime after the Council meets next week."
will recall, on January 11,
2006, we sent a letter to you and to the City Council members
requesting confirmation that we would
have "full and complete access to
all City employees and documents, including all relevant documents in
the possession of the City Attorney's Office" in order to facilitate
this investigation. However, we did not receive a response to or an
acknowledgment of this letter. Instead, last week when Mr.
Dunlap and I
were at City Hall, you asked us to visit your office. In our brief
meeting, we raised the issue of the
withheld documents. You seemed
surprised that documents were being withheld and indicated that
believed that the investigation should be concluded quickly. In
response, we informed you that without the benefit of these documents,
the investigation was necessarily taking more time than anticipated.
Accordingly, we asked you to assist us in obtaining the withheld
documents. You responded that perhaps
YOU could put the issue of the
assertion of the privilege on the next City Council agenda. However,
instead you placed an item on the City Council agenda for "discussion
and possible action regarding the status of the inquiry into the Royal
Links Golf Course transactions."
Our obvious concern with this City
Council agenda description is that it is too broad and does not even
address the issue of the withheld documents. Accordingly, we
letter to you, dated February 8, 2006, expressing, our concerns. On
February 9, 2006, you called our office to discuss this issue. In that
telephone conversation, you represented that the February 15, 2006 City
Council agenda item relating to the Royal Links investigation would
address only the issue of the City's waiver of the attorney-client
privilege as to documents responsive to the document production request
issued by the Attorney General's office. You further
explained that the
City Council agenda item was worded the way it was for the public's
benefit; you stated that the
public simply would not
attorney-client privilege. During our telephone
conversation, you were
informed that we would be unavailable on February 15 to attend the City
Council hearing on this issue. Accordingly, you suggested we prepare a
letter addressing our needs and concerns.
In response to
your suggestion, we
hereby submit this letter. We believe that the Board of Examiners
adequately and clearly expressed their desire for a full and complete
investigation of this matter. Withholding relevant documents impedes
our investigation. Accordingly, we hereby respectfully request
City Council and City Manager conclude that the attorney-client
privilege be deemed waived for purposes of this investigation and that
all previously withheld documents be produced to us. It is obviously in
the public's best interests to thoroughly review the issues, obtain
complete disclosure and not rush the investigative process.
Accordingly, we respectfully request the cooperation of the City
Council and City Manager in facilitating our efforts.
We thank you in
advance for your anticipated assistance and cooperation in this matter.
Catherine S. Meulemans
City Council Members, City Manager
review of the Metro
investigation documents reveals that
the scope of that investigation
was very limited and that a number of issues and transactions were not
explored, nor investigated, by Metro. We are not at all critical
Metro officers, as it appears that they professionally carried out
their assigned task. However, we have already discovered several facts
and transactions, which apparently were not reported by Metro or the
press, that lead us to believe there
were other, unreported
expenditures of City moneys and resources, for the benefit of Mr.
Walters. We believe these transactions should also be part of
Based on the above
information, its obvious that Oscar Goodman would do anything,
including insulting the public's intelligence, to pay back a former
client, and only a mayor would have enough power to hinder this kind of
investigation. But don't take my word for it. Just look at last
Feb. 17, 2006
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal
Walters inquiry to expand
By DAVID MCGRATH SCHWARTZ
Investigators leading an inquiry into the city's
dealings with Royal Links Golf Club and developer Bill Walters say they
believe Walters received more benefits and resources at city
expense than previously reported. FULL
February 17, 2006
LAS VEGAS SUN
Editorial: Jon Ralston on a legal skirmish
reason to be worried: It's obvious city of Las Vegas officials
are nervous about the probe of their dealings with developer Billy
Walters because of their bizarre behavior at Wednesday's
meeting, where they acted offended that the law firm doing the job was
not being polite...
And here's another scary development: The
law firm appointed by the attorney general to oversee the case has
expertise in real estate transactions, so if there is anything untoward
about any land deals, Senn Meuelemans will find it. But the firm has no
expertise in criminal matters, so it retained Cal Dunlap
. Who is he? A former
Washoe County district attorney, now practicing in Reno, and with a reputation for being tough on
criminals, including public officials
. He has battled some of the finest legal
minds in Nevada and won, including the late Harry Claiborne,
coincidentally a mentor of one Oscar Goodman
When the dust settles on the Billy Walters probe, I hope it brings an
end to the corrupt administration of "Teflon Mayor" Oscar Goodman.
Copyright © Steve Miller
ARTICLES BY STEVE
MILLER ABOUT THE SWEETHEART LAND DEAL: