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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:

New Vegas Councilwoman Sells Out
3 Days After Election

INSIDE  VEGAS by Steve Miller
June 23, 2003
  Moncrief and Goodman                   Cusumano and Goodman                             Billy Walters and attorney Rick Wright
Fred "Rick" Rizzolo                        Goodman and Letizia                                    Goodman visiting  my home, Feb. 23, 2003

It took less than 72 hours for persons indirectly involved in a federal investigation of organized crime to woo the loyalty of Vegas' newest public official, Janet Moncrief. A registered nurse who last December moved into the city to run for office. Moncrief had never voted in any local or national election prior to becoming the newest member of the Sin City Council.

I was intent on seeing her opponent, a mobbed up former cop, lose the election. I accepted Moncrief's offer to be her campaign advisor in February even though I knew little about the woman. Moncrief entered office last Wednesday under a cloud of damning headlines.

I had agreed to secretly work on her campaign at no charge, lending my expertise as a former councilman, writing and editing her mailers and coaching the camera shy candidate. I wanted to do the right thing for my town by removing a councilman who was under federal investigation for political corruption. I succeeded, but the person I helped replace him with has now brought me shame.

After a whirlwind four months of hard campaigning, Moncrief stabbed her main supporters in the back by accepting the largess of Tom Letizia, a man who has often been described in as the "Information Minister" for embattled Vegas topless bar owner Fred "Rick" Rizzolo; Freddie Glusman, owner of the mob watering hole Piero's; and Vegas' former mob mouthpiece-turned-mayor Oscar Goodman. Rizzolo is currently suing the United States Government and his next door neighbor Buffalo Jim Barrier.

Rizzolo is under investigation by the FBI for alleged ties to organized crime. He is suing the FBI for taking items he considered protected by attorney/client privilege during a February 21, 2003 raid of his topless bar. He is also the subject of an IRS investigation, however he has not yet sued that agency.

Rizzolo is entangled in a bitter landlord/tenant dispute with Barrier over a leasehold that is stopping expansion of his adult business. Letizia is related to an executive with the Nevada Department of Transportation. Though his relative denies knowing anything, his agency is threatening to remove Barrier's auto repair business through the use of eminent domain possibly with the mayor and Moncrief's future help, to make way for Rizzolo's topless bar to expand.

During the campaign, Moncrief told me she adamantly opposed the use of eminent domain to displace one private business to benefit another. She has not yet been asked her latest opinion on the eminent domain issue, but city hall observers speculate that her new position as councilperson for the district in which Rizzolo's bar is located has much to do with why she is now being wooed by Rizzolo and Goodman's Information Minister.

Coincidentally, Rizzolo and Goodman share a close friendship with Joey Cusumano, a member of Nevada's Black Book of persons banned from casinos. Cusumano was also associated with Moncrief's predecessor on the council, former cop Mike McDonald who did Rizzolo numerous favors.

Using this information, Moncrief secretly paid for the "Hit Piece" mailer below that was sent to voters during the campaign.

Not long after she secretly paid for and published the above mailer and others which polarized Vegas voters against her opponent, she fell into bed figuratively with the friends of the persons who she secretly blasted in four mailers. If her plan had succeeded, the subjects of her mailers would never have known that their new-found friend once attacked them. Never, until my affidavit, did she imagine the truth would be revealed, but I admit I could not contain myself on this matter especially after she became the darling of most of the subjects I write about each week in

On Father's Day, June 15, I was shocked to learn that Moncrief on Letizia's orders, was claiming she did not know me. In answer to Las Vegas Review Journal city hall reporter Michael Squires' question, "During the campaign Councilman McDonald tried to tie your campaign to a group of conspirators. What role, if any, will ...Steve Miller.. have in your administration," Moncrief answered, "Steve Miller, I met him in my walks. He cornered me and quizzed me to death. Talk about a concerned citizen. He has been on my side rooting me on and was tickled about my winning. But I have no contact with (him). I guess there were rumors I was going to hire Steve Miller for one of my positions. I'm not going to hire Steve Miller, I don't even know him."

Sadly, after donating four months of hard work to her campaign and advising her on a daily basis, and even though I would be accused of sour grapes, I realized it would be a public service to expose this disingenuous person and her new friends before she became a bigger menace to society than her predecessor - who catered to the same people. For this reason, I sent the following self explanatory affidavit to the Nevada Attorney General:


State of Nevada, County of Clark, Before the undersigned, an officer duly commissioned by the laws of Nevada, on this 18th day of June, 2003, Steve Miller personally appeared who having been first duly sworn depose and say:

On or about April 7, 2003, I was asked to edit the wording of a political mailer being produced by then-Las Vegas City Council candidate Janet Moncrief. I also on the request of Janet Moncrief scanned into my computer a four-color political mailer from the (Councilman) Michael McDonald (reelection) campaign showing his image and campaign logo.

I was instructed to send the scanned photos to Ms. Moncrief’s campaign assistant. I reluctantly complied. Upon reading verbiage I was asked to check for typographical and spelling errors, I realized the material I was being asked to edit was for an anti-union mailer that falsely listed Michael McDonald as the sender. I edited the material under protest. I told Ms. Moncrief to send a mailer under a false sender’s name was a horrible and potentially illegal tactic.

She discounted my advice and told me no one would know where it came from because it would go first class postage with no bulk mail stamp that can be traced. I was later informed that the flier was sent to union members and Democrats only - that Ms. Moncrief wanted the flier to look like it was mistakenly sent by McDonald to the wrong list instead of its originally intended audience; Republicans who are less supportive of organized labor. I told her it could backfire. She insisted it be mailed.

I also helped lay out, author, and edit most of Moncrief’s legitimate campaign material including most of the Peter “Chris” Christoff mailers that Moncrief paid to have printed, addressed, and mailed. The majority of campaign material I created was obtained from local newspaper articles and I carefully checked the veracity of all other material we used with the exception of the anti-union mailer. I also coached Ms. Moncrief for all public appearances and interviews on the Jon Ralston television program.

I donated my writing, editing, and consulting services free of charge to her campaign but was not listed on her disclosures. I did not pay for any of Ms. Moncrief’s expenses including expenses for mailers sent on behalf of Peter Christoff, or the expense to create and mail the anti-union piece. I only donated my time. During the campaign Moncrief repeatedly called me at all hours of the day and night for advice and coaching. I was asked to fill out the answers on union, PAC, and other questionnaires.

On Friday, May 30, Ms. Moncrief came to Jerry Wolkon’s print shop and spent several hours helping a dozen volunteers including myself, my wife, and my daughter, affix postage stamps to Peter Christoff's final mailer so it could arrive on the day before the general election. This is the mailer that exposed McDonald's connections to topless bar owner Rick Rizzolo, Nevada Black Book member Joey Cusumano, and golf course developer Billy Walters (attached).

Following Ms. Moncrief’s June 3 victory party, I sent her a confidential e-mail on June 5 (attached), advising her to avoid Tom Letizia, a public relations man who represents a topless bar owner presently under federal investigation. I followed up with a phone call to confirm her receipt of my e-mail. I did not hear again from Ms. Moncrief until Saturday, June 14 when she called to initially ask me to go over the June 18, 2003 city council agenda and advise her.

Prior to that call, on June 9, I read in the Las Vegas Review Journal that Councilwoman-elect Moncrief had hired Mr. Letizia against my advice. Based on her new affiliation, I informed her that she would have to make a complete public disclosure if I am to be her consultant regarding the upcoming council agenda, and that I would also need to file a complete personal disclosure with the city attorney before I could assist her any further in her council duties. She refused saying she had been advised by Mr. Letizia to not have her name publicly associated with mine.

Moncrief said Letizia had promised to raise $700,000.00 or more for her if she agreed to let him do so before the thirty-day cut off time for campaign debt reduction, and on the condition Steve Miller be dismissed.  She said Letizia bragged of raising $1.5 million for Oscar Goodman and that he would produce for her an equally successful event at a restaurant owned by golf course developer Billy Walters. Because of new information that came to light following Ms. Moncrief’s June 3 election, I felt compelled to make this sworn statement.

(Signed and notarized)

After I turned state's evidence, Letizia began speaking for the novice politician. He was quoted in the June 19 Las Vegas Sun saying, "I told her (Moncrief) early on that if Steve Miller is involved with this in any way, then I'm out."

Evidently, he was not aware that I had been intimately involved in her campaign from the outset. Obviously, Ms. Moncrief is an excellent liar if she could fool the savvy PR man.

How early on that Letizia joined the race is anyone's guess, but Moncrief beat her opponent by 16 points so it would have been easy for Letizia to guess the results of the election and make contact early. When I heard about Letizia's statement to Moncrief about me, I immediately wondered what he or Goodman had to hide? Did Goodman think I would have a free reign on the 10th floor of his city hall? Probably.

Remember, it was Letizia's buddy Goodman who paid me a surprise visit the day after the feds raided Letizia's other buddy's topless joint to say he would not bring the trouble plagued bar up on a Show Cause Hearing, a hearing to defend its license after 737 police responses were filed in just 3 years. I had hammered the mayor on these pages for not doing so after a Kansas tourist reportedly had his neck broken by Rizzolo's bouncers on September 21, 2001. Letizia reportedly handled the bar's PR problem by coaching club employees into saying the tourist "slipped and fell."

Ed Koch of the Las Vegas Sun reported on June 19 that Goodman, after receiving a copy of my affidavit said, "When you serve the public 'you are naked' and subject to such attacks. Goodman said a politician has 'to have a sense of humor' to get by in the job."

Reporter Koch called me to ask what I thought of the mayor's remark. The Sun reported, "Miller said Goodman is making light of a serious matter. 'I find his comment comical in light of the initial evidence that has so far surfaced,' Miller said. 'If his former criminal clients came to him with the problems already exhibited by Moncrief, he would probably have told them to plea bargain.'"

This week, Moncrief's new Information Minister made an announcement. Letizia told the media that he would be producing a debt retirement party for his new councilwoman on July 1 at the Cili restaurant at the Bali Hai, a country club owned by Billy Walters. Walters, a man who was three times indicted on charges arising from the transportation of what prosecutors say were proceeds from illegal sports bets, is the type of person I had previously warned Moncrief to avoid along with Letizia. Moncrief told me on Sunday, June 14, that she was "promised" $700,000.00 would be raised by Letizia and his cronies at the Bali Hai event. I again told her to avoid associating with men like Walters and Letizia at any cost, but by then she had sold her soul - and her friends, in my opinion, for the promise of gold.

I am now informed by reliable sources that because of the attention I caused, the invitation-only Bali Hai event will be heavily monitored, and that the Nevada Secretary of State will next week begin a full investigation of our newly elected councilwoman's questionable campaign tactics. If the Secretary of State finds sufficient cause, the state Attorney General will prosecute those who broke state campaign laws. When and if this occurs, I have pledged to fully cooperate and at that time much more information is guaranteed to surface. If the same authorities shirk their responsibilities, I will put the matter to rest with a clear conscience and hope the feds look into the matter for possible malfeasance.

Only in Vegas could a mobbed up former police officer-turned-politician be replaced in an election by a soon to be mobbed up nurse-turned-politician. Wonder why? Just look at our town's mayor for the perfect poster boy.

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