faced Vegas mayor maintains his mob roots
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
March 2, 2009
LAS VEGAS - The latest story
about racketeer Rick
Rizzolo hiding assets illegally obtained while he owned the now shuttered
Crazy Horse Too topless bar, has caught fire in our local press. With his
and his ex-wife's bills going unpaid, and the IRS and a beating victim
hot on their heels, Rizzolo has inspired Department of Justice prosecutors
to travel to Vegas from Washington D.C. to conduct a Federal Grand Jury
probe of his knowledge of Michael
McDonald, a former LV police officer-turned-councilman-turned-mob lackey.
|Mar. 01, 2009
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal
JOHN L. SMITH: Grand jury investigation of McDonald keeps
Rizzolo in hot seat
If Rick Rizzolo dreamed of living happily ever after, he was only kidding
himself. He must know that by now. He was recently served with a subpoena
compelling his testimony before a federal grand jury in a brewing Internal
Revenue Service tax case against his friend, former Las Vegas City Councilman
and ex-Metro police officer Michael McDonald. Unless defense attorney Tony
Sgro can figure a way to get that subpoena quashed, I'm hearing Rizzolo
will receive limited immunity from prosecution and be ordered to answer
questions about his long relationship with McDonald... Could McDonald have
done Rizzolo a favor by, for instance, harboring or selling off his assets?
FULL COLUMN: http://www.lvrj.com/news/40499402.html
|Subpoena of Rizzolo sparks buzz of speculation
The former Crazy Horse Too owner is ordered
to appear before a federal grand jury
By Jeff German
LAS VEGAS SUN
Feb 23, 2009
There has been talk that Rizzolo may be wielding influence at another
local topless club in violation of his 2006 plea agreement to stay out
of the business. There’s also speculation that he may have hid assets from
the government in his amicable 2005 divorce. In court papers last week,
Rizzolo denied concealing any money and said he no longer even has cash
to hire lawyers to fend off his creditors. He said he’s waiting for the
government to sell the Crazy Horse Too “since it’s my only chance to get
out of this mess and pay everybody off.”
FULL STORY: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/feb/23/subpoena-rizzolo-sparks-buzz-speculation/
If Rizzolo wants to remain
on parole and not be shuttled back to federal prison, he'll be forced to
rat on McDonald, and possibly on McDonald's mentor LV Mayor Oscar Goodman
along with Goodman's law
Chesnoff and Jay
Brown is the business
partner of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Brown served with
Oscar Goodman as Rick Rizzolo's corporate resident agents for The
Power Company Inc. The present corporate agent for RicRiz
LLC is John Dawson, brother of United States Federal Judge Kent Dawson.
Other prominent locals who
could also end up in the line of Federal Grand Jury questions are Nevada
Supreme Court Justice Nancy
Siatta; U.S. Federal Judge Kent
Dawson; Clark County District Attorney David
Roger: and Clark County District Court Judge Jackie
Glass, all of whom have been accused of doing Rick Rizzolo, his employees,
or family members favors -- favors including not prosecuting Crazy Horse
Too employees for beating
and robbing patrons, or prosecuting Rizzolo's son for attempted murder.
has for years made it no secret that he considers Rizzolo one of his best
friends, and the mayor's quasi-official actions time and again have
proven this to be true.
Goodman has also remained
loyal to the disgraced ex-councilman after McDonald was ousted from office
In 2007, in an amazing act
of generosity with taxpayer's money, Goodman gifted his protégé'
with publicly owned land for millions under market value. Now the feds
want to know where McDonald got his money to buy the property? And did
it possibly come from Rick Rizzolo as part of a scheme to hide
assets from seizure?
|Jun. 21, 2007
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal
McDonald gets OK to buy land for less than appraisals
Michael McDonald visited his old City Hall stomping grounds Wednesday
and left with the council agreeing to sell him land for millions of dollars
less than it's worth... "Only an idiot would say this transaction would
not be looked at closely," he (Goodman) said. Despite that, the mayor and
the rest of the council voted to sell the land to the former Las Vegas
councilman because of a desperate need for affordable housing for the elderly,
FULL STORY: http://www.lvrj.com/news/8107832.html
A year and a half after the
city sold the the Vegas Drive and Decatur Blvd. land to McDonald, it still
But Goodman was not always
McDonald's biggest fan. The two-faced mayor in October 2000 -- while intoxicated
-- signed my
RECALL McDONALD petition.
Three years later, after
being told by his former and current mob clients that Mike McDonald had
fallen into line and begun doing their bidding, and after dozens of massage
parlors and escort services were allowed to open in McDonald's ward, Goodman,
in an amazing display of hypocrisy, endorsed McDonald in his campaign for
a third term on the city council.
The front lawn of Mayor Oscar Goodman's home, March 2003
When I saw Goodman lending
his endorsement and fund raising skills to McDonald's re-election, I decided
it was time to take desperate measures to try to clean out the cesspool
at city hall. In August, 2007, CityLife magazine wrote a rather
about my unorthodox, but necessary tactics.
I especially wanted to take
action since I live in the old part of town that had become infested with
related businesses and pay day loan sharks. It's too painful sitting
back and watching a fine old neighborhood be ruined by government sanctioned
greed, throwing caution to the wind, several friends and I forged ahead
with a scheme that soon drove McDonald and his staff from city hall.
Unfortunately, they were
soon replaced with more of Oscar Goodman's minions, and little positive
|'A fundamental assault on liberties'
Canada not immune to illicit trade
By Florence Loyie
The Edmonton Journal
February 25, 2009
The U.S. Department of State's recent annual Trafficking in Persons
report pegs Canada as a source, destination and transit country for men,
women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation
or forced labour... The victim is usually taken to another city, where
she is further groomed for her new role, often by another woman. Then
she will be taken over the border, usually to Las Vegas, where she will
be used as a high-priced escort.
FULL STORY: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/fundamental+assault+liberties/1326989/story.html
Several years after McDonald's
campaign sign appeared on his front lawn, Goodman made a surprise visit
to my home. In this AmericanMafia.com photo by Mike Christ, Goodman is
pictured asking me to go easy on Rick Rizzolo.
I not rebutted his advances by showing him my latest INSIDE VEGAS column
blasting Rizzolo, he probably would have included McDonald in his "go easy"
request while we awkwardly dodged traffic in the middle of the street.
Though our unsophisticated
local voters adore him, Mayor Oscar Goodman has never severed his mob roots
and continues doing his law partner's organized crime clients favors and
allowing them to operate criminal enterprises within the city limits in
preference to looking out for the safety and welfare of law abiding Vegas
Now, one of his biggest clients,
Rick Rizzolo, is about to be given his choice of remaining free, or going
back to prison in the event he refuses to answer the questions of federal
prosecutors probing his main lackey Mike McDonald.
In the past, people like
Rizzolo have felt immune from such inquiries because of their local
political connections. But, according to Review-Journal columnist
John L. Smith, "Those
DOJ attorneys didn't come all the way from Washington, D.C., to play footsie.
I'm guessing they're looking for a scalp."
Many hope some scalps will
be taken especially after the Nevada Supreme Court last week dismissed
lawsuit filed in June, 2002 by Rizzolo's former next door neighbor,
the late James "Buffalo
Jim" Barrier. (It's not yet known whether Rizzolo's friend, Justice
Nancy Siatta, voted on the dismissal.)
In August 2007, Clark County
District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez Ordered that Rizzolo put $1
million dollars into the court's escrow account to be available in
the event Barrier prevailed in his law suit. Rizzolo was livid!
The trial was scheduled in
2008, but Barrier died a mysterious death in April of that year -- the
day following Rick Rizzolo's release from prison. Immediately following
Barrier's death, Rzzolo's lawyers filed a Writ of Mandamus with the Supreme
Court asking to have the case dismissed and the $1 million dollar Order
Because of the Supreme Court's
ruling, and based on the primary witness' death, the case is now expected
to routinely be dismissed in District Court at an upcoming status check
scheduled for March 12, 2009.
But even that small victory
will not help Rizzolo. A Federal Magistrate Judge last week opened the
door for Rizzolo's 26 year old delinquent son Dominic,
and the family's criminal defense attorney Tony Sgro to be deposed in the
Henry beating case.
Henry's attorneys, former
U.S. Federal Prosecutors Don Campbell and Stan Hunterton, will conduct
the depositions, though all the information they receive will be kept confidential
according to the Magistrate's ruling to seal potential insurance beneficiary
information; joint trust agreements; and individual trust agreements involving
Unfortunately, now it appears
that the public will not learn the names of the Rizzolo's business partners.
Document 87 Filed 02/25/2009 Page 1 of 2
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEVADA
KIRK AND AMY HENRY,
FREDRICK RIZZOLO, aka RICK RIZZOLO, et al.,
This matter is before the Court on Non-Party Dominic Rizzolo’s Objection
to Subpoena Duces Tecum and Motion to Quash (#63, 69), filed January 27,
2009 and Plaintiffs’ Opposition to Objection to Subpoena Duces Tecum and
Motion to Quash Subpoena (#74), filed February 10, 2009. Also before the
Court is Non-Party Anthony P. Sgro’s Motion for Protective Order (#66),
filed January 28, 2009 and Plaintiffs’ Opposition to Motion for Protective
Order (#75), filed February 10, 2009. The Court conducted a hearing on
these matters on February 20, 2009. Having considered the papers submitted
by the parties and oral argument by counsel, and good cause appearing,
IT IS ORDERED that Non-Party Dominic Rizzolo’s Objection to Subpoena Duces
Tecum and Motion to Quash (#63, 69) is granted, in part, and denied, in
part as follows: Pursuant to the agreement of the parties, the
deposition of Dominic Rizzolo shall be taken, if necessary,
on reasonable notice in Las Vegas, Nevada after the District Court decides
Plaintiff’s objection to Order (#73). Plaintiffs will also pay Dominic
Rizzolo’s reasonable travel costs for appearing in Las Vegas for the deposition.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Non-Party Anthony P. Sgro’s Motion
for Protective Order (#66), filed January 28, 2009; Plaintiffs’ Opposition
to Motion for Protective Order (#75) is granted, in part, and denied, in
part as follows: The deposition of Anthony
Sgro shall be taken (emphasis added
by author), if necessary, on reasonable notice in Las Vegas, Nevada
after the District Court decides Plaintiff’s objection to Order (#73).
The deposition may be videotaped by Plaintiffs and shall be limited to
one day of seven hours.
DATED this 24th day of February, 2009.
GEORGE FOLEY, JR.
United States Magistrate Judge
Maybe there's a light at
the end of this tunnel after all, when those who have been so overly protected
are about to be forced to drop their armor and squeal, or possibly spend
their best years behind bars where they've always belonged.
These are very interesting
times in Sin City.