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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:

How to catch corrupted politicians
Does this signature look like a rubber stamp?

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
July 24, 2006

LAS VEGAS - Sometimes I just can't contain myself. Last week at his press conference, Sin City Mayor Oscar Goodman insulted the intelligence of anyone who's been paying attention. He told
the LV Review-Journal, "...the crimes employees and owners of the Crazy Horse Too Gentleman's Club pleaded guilty to didn't merit the maximum fines the city could impose."

Then he was asked about the admission by the company that owns the Crazy Horse that the club "sought to extort payment from patrons through explicit or implicit threats of violence, or through actual use of force." 

Goodman answered, "That is a lot different than bribing a politician. That's the integrity of the system. This is just a business practice that's entirely unacceptable."

He was referring to former topless bar owner Michael Galardi who plead guilty to bribing San Diego and Las Vegas politicians, compared to topless bar owner Rick Rizzolo who is partly responsible for at least two deaths and dozens of beatings.

In response to the mayor's disingenuous "just a business practice" statement, I submit the following photographic reply:

Mike Galardi's victims:

                                 Disgraced ex-commissioners Lance Malone, Erin Kenny, Dario Herrera,
                                 Mary Kincaid-Chauncey, disgraced ex-councilman Michael McDonald

Rick Rizzolo's victims:
Scott David Fau (deceased), Paul Russo, Jermaine Simieou, Eban Kostbar, Eddie Soula, Kirk Henry, and  others

Back in 1990, I had the honor of authoring and sponsoring the City of Las Vegas Ethics in Government Law. It forced public officials to turn on the microphone and disclose anything and everything that could be construed as a conflict of interest. The law did not say the City Attorney would make such decisions, or that a public official could not vote after fully disclosing his or her perceived conflict -- it just said that the public has the right to know.

As soon as he was elected mayor, Goodman abolished my law. Now we know why!

At the July 12 council meeting, Mayor Goodman failed to disclose a number of important conflicts before voting to bring the Crazy Horse Too up on a disciplinary action. His omissions were so blatant that I couldn't help myself. I immediately filed a  complaint with the Nevada Commission on Ethics -- one of several in his political career. The last time he was accused of being unethical, he was found guilty of violating the state ethics law.

The photo below clearly shows his rage. Then there's this interesting photo of Judge Nancy M. Saitta, but that's another story. 
                             Enraged  Mayor                                                                 Angry Judge
          (Las Vegas Review-Journal photo by Cariño Casas)                                (Las Vegas Sun photo by Steve Marcus)

Back to Goodman. He's clearly a guy who cannot take criticism!

Review-Journal City Hall reporter Dave Schwartz expressed Mayor Goodman's frustration best when he ask him about my ethics complaint. Goodman's response? "Tell Steve Miller to suck my big toe!"

But while Goodman was fuming, a few blocks away at the Clark County Regional Justice Center, a secret was about to be revealed.

Back in August of last year, I had become disgusted with a local judge and filed a complaint against her with the state Judicial Discipline Commission. Coincidentally, she was involved with the same sleazy people as the mayor, and also didn't recuse when she should have. More on her later.

For those of you who also want to expose crooked politicians, I offer the two following examples of how its done.

Here's the first example of how to catch a corrupted politician. It's self explanatory:

July 24, 2006
Adriana G. Fralick, Esq.
General Counsel
State of Nevada Commission on Ethics
3476 Executive Pointe Way, Suite 10
Carson City, Nevada 89706

RE: Request for Opinion No. 06-42

Dear Ms. Fralick:

        Thank you for your prompt reply to my Request for Opinion dated July 10, 2006 and for the thorough explanation as to what constitutes a minimal level of reliable proof.
        Based on the information you provided under NRS 281.511, I would like to resubmit my complaint with the following newly postured evidence.
On July 13, 2006, during Mayor Oscar Goodman’s weekly press conference, Las Vegas Review Journal City Hall reporter David Schwartz asked the mayor about his ties to the law firm known as “Goodman & Chesnoff, A Professional Corporation,” located at 520 South Fourth Street, Las Vegas, Nevada, and the firm's ties to a local topless bar. Mr. Schwartz also asked whether the mayor continued to have a working relationship with his law partner David Chesnoff?
        Mr. Chesnoff currently represents Vincent Faraci, an executive with the Crazy Horse Too, a topless bar scheduled to come before the Las Vegas City Council on September 6 for a disciplinary action. (EXHIBIT 1).
        Mayor Goodman admitted that his name continues to appear on the letterhead of Goodman and Chesnoff, but said he no longer receives remuneration from this firm other than an insurance policy. He offered no proof of this however.
        On July 19, 2006, Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston wrote: “…in the Martindale-Hubble entry, Goodman and Chesnoff are described as ‘interlocking pieces of a puzzle, forming a complete picture.'" (EXHIBIT 2)
        On September 21, 2004, the Las Vegas Sun reported: “Chesnoff said he speaks frequently with the mayor about cases and clients. ‘The mayor is actively and regularly consulting with me." (EXHIBIT 3)
        At his news conference, Mayor Goodman went on to say he would vote against revoking the Crazy Horse Too’s privileged license. He made this promise without hearing testimony of witnesses, police, or evidence being prepared by the City Attorney for presentation at the Show Cause Hearing scheduled for September 6.
        The Crazy Horse Too employs Albert Rapuano, a former law client of Goodman and Chesnoff. (EXHIBIT 4)
        Rick Rizzolo, the owner of the Crazy Horse Too, was a Goodman and Chesnoff law client. (EXHIBIT 5)
        In 2003, Rick Rizzolo donated $40,000 to Oscar Goodman's uncontested reelection campaign.
        Joseph (Joey the Clown) Lombardo was a Goodman and Chesnoff client. Joseph’s brother Rocco Lombardo is currently a floor man at the Crazy Horse Too.
        Joey Cusumano is the godfather to three of Rick Rizzolo’s children, and was described by Rizzolo as his “Best friend in the world” in the Las Vegas Review Journal on April 28, 2002. Mr. Cusumano was a client of Goodman and Chesnoff, and though listed in Nevada’s Black Book, was an invited guest at the mayor’s home according to the Review Journal on March 17, 2003.
        Known as the preeminent Mob attorney in the United States prior to being elected mayor, Oscar Goodman made his fortune defending Mob associates, many with ties to the Crazy Horse Too.
        At his July 13 press conference, Mayor Goodman said he would vote to allow (his former and present clients at) the Crazy Horse Too to remain in business in the face of guilty pleas to racketeering and tax evasion by the corporation that owns the bar.
        This is a clear violation of Las Vegas Municipal Code 6.02.330(H).
        The mayor, in in spite of this overwhelming evidence, insists that the Crazy Horse Too should stay open, and suggested -- like a good criminal defense attorney -- that its' potential two million dollar fine be lowered.
        Mayor Goodman also made this unusual motion at the July 12 council meeting: "I move to accept the first amended complaint for disciplinary action and set the September 6 date as a time certain for the hearing on the matter if it can't be resolved before then (emphasis added)."
        Mayor Goodman made his motion following a plea by Rizzolo's attorney Tony Sgro (one of Goodman's protégés), that he be given the opportunity to meet one-on-one with all the council persons to try to come to a compromise resolution prior to the public hearing.
        Mayor Goodman encouraged the City Council to meet privately with Mr. Sgro.
        With Mayor Goodman's help, it is obvious that Mr. Sgro is trying to resolve the Crazy Horse license revocation matter outside the public's view - a possible violation of the Open Meeting Law. This demonstrates the Star Chamber mentality of Mayor Goodman when it comes to Goodman and Chesnoff clients, though he insists that he will vote if the item comes before the Council.
        This contridicts when, on March 24, 2004, the mayor recused claiming he had a conflict of interest because his son represented the owners of Treasures, an adult business in direct competition to the Crazy Horse Too.
        I submit that Mayor Goodman has a bias favoring his past and present Goodman and Chesnoff clients; therefore a conflict of interest exists and he should not vote or participate in discussions during the up coming Show Cause Hearing.       
        I request that the Nevada Commission on Ethics open a complete investigation into the ties between Mayor Oscar Goodman and the law firm of Goodman and Chesnoff, including the firm’s past and present clients who will be represented before the Las Vegas City Council on September 6.

                                                                                        Steve Miller

Then came Clark County District Court Judge Nancy Saitta. Amazingly, she is beholden to the same bunch of felons that got Goodman in trouble. Last Friday, the photo of the pissed off judge was taken by Las Vegas Sun photographer Steve Marcus shortly after she was informed that the state Commission on Judicial Discipline had sent her a "letter of caution" based on my August 23, 2005 complaint.  This while she is in the midst of running for a seat on the Nevada Supreme Court. (I swear I had nothing to do with the timing of the caution letter.)

Here's the second example of how to catch a corrupted politician. A complaint to the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline:
The judge did the following things that I believe constitute misconduct (please be as specific as possible about the event or action and attach additional pages, if required):
On 05/29/02, Clark County District Court Judge Nancy M. Saitta reassigned  Case 00-A-424456 to Judge Togliatti.
On 05/22/04, Judge Togliatti reassigned the same case to Judge Douglas.
On 07/24/04, Judge Douglas reassigned Case 00-A-424456 to Judge Gonzalez.
On 08/25/04, a hearing was held in the court of Honorable Judge Gonzalez in Case No: A452269 in the matter of BARRIER v. RIZZOLO regarding issues relating to parking.
Also on 08/25/04, a hearing was purportedly held in Judge Saitta's court (twenty months after her reassignment of the initial Case 00-A-424456) in Case No: A424456, also regarding the same parking matters.
Parties present in Judge Gonzalez' court on 08/25/04 state that they did not attend a hearing  the same day in the court of Judge Saitta on any matter regarding Barrier or Rizzolo.
An "ORDER" was prepared  and submitted for Judge Saitta's signature by Anthony Sgro, ESQ., the attorney for Rizzolo.
Said "ORDER" was signed by Judge Saitta on 09/28/04, over two years after her reassignment of the case. Judge Saitta states in her "ORDER" that both parties and their attorneys were "present" in her court on 08/25/04.
I feel that what the judicial officer should have done is the following (for misconduct complaints only):
Judge Nancy Saitta should not have signed the "ORDER" on 09/28/04. The order was prepared by the attorneys for Rizzolo, (the owner of an adult business currently under federal investigation for RICO, Tax evasion, and Political Corruption). This occurring on a case she had removed herself from some two years previously.
I feel she did so due to gross negligence, or as an apparent favor to Rizzolo, (in fact, a political contributor and fund raiser to Judge Saitta's campaign, see attached exhibit). I also feel the fact that Saitta's issuance of an order 5 days after a similar order by Judge Gonzalez, is worthy of further inquiry and/or investigation.
It appears to me that the first order failed to please Rizzolo's attorneys.
I feel that Judge Saitta signing a falsified order for a campaign contributor sends a horrific message to the good people of this community, and of Nevada.  

The week after Saitta got her letter, a three-quarter page story appeared in the Sun that just about killed her chances for winning higher office, or even getting reelected for that matter:

July 21, 2006 

Judge lands in middle of feud

Saitta's stamp at issue in parking-space flap between strip club, auto shop

By Sam Skolnik
Las Vegas Sun

Was it nothing more than a clerical slip-up, the kind that occasionally happens in the busy offices of Clark County judges?

Or was it something less innocent when, at the behest of lawyers for a strip-club owner, a clerk in 2004 stamped a judge's signature on an order in a civil case - a case the judge hadn't presided over for years?

Miller - a Rizzolo critic who reportedly owns land beneath a competing topless club - filed a complaint with the judicial discipline commission on Aug. 23. In it, he claimed that Saitta had signed the order either because of gross negligence or as an "apparent favor" to Rizzolo. 


I'm not an attorney. In fact I flunked my law class at Las Vegas High. All I know about law is based on suing and being sued a bunch of times. So why did I become such a pain in the ass when it involves corrupt lawyers and judges?

Because I hate corrupt politicians. I'm very patient. I watch people. I check to see who they hang out with. In Goodman and Saitta's cases, both frequent the same Mob hang out, Piero's. In fact, Saitta held a fund raiser there for her last campaign. She's also been seen hugging and kissing Rick Rizzolo at social events, though she told the Sun she hardy knows him. She and Goodman are birds of a feather -- sucking up to the Mob.

After seeing enough, I went to work. First I downloaded complaint forms from the appropriate state agencies. I collected newspaper clippings and video tapes to back me up. Then I spent a few bucks and overnighted my complaints, news clips, and video tapes to the appropriate state and Federal agencies. In the case of Saitta, I kept my mouth shut for almost a year while the Judicial Discipline Commission conducted their investigation while I made a file containing all correspondence.

I received a number of calls from the Commission's private investigators, and I fully cooperated knowing they were working at taxpayer expense. Today, because of their efforts, Saitta has the egg on her face she deserves.

I believe I just caught her in another big lie!

In the LV Sun article "Judge lands in middle of feud," she falsely told court reporter Sam Skolnik that her clerk "stamped" her name on Sgro's "ORDER."

It is not possilbe that the quality of signature shown on these pages is from a rubber stamp.

Mr. Skolnik wrote, "a clerk in 2004 stamped a judge's signature on an order in a civil case." "Her name came up in connection with Rizzolo in an FBI investigation when another strip-club operator and convicted felon, Michael Galardi, told agents that Rizzolo claimed he had paid Saitta $40,000 to $50,000, in under-the-table, cash contributions."

At trial, the jury believed Galardi and convicted a slew of crooked politicians based on his testimony, though Saitta was never charged.

At the end of the story,  "She (Saitta) added that the clerk who affixed the stamp, whom she declined to name, followed proper procedures when doing so. Three District Court judges, including Saitta, say that typically, when an order is dropped off in a judge's chambers, it is first processed by a secretary. Then it goes to the judge's clerk, who verifies that the substance of the order matches what was reported by the courtroom clerk on an electronic filing system."

Evidently, Sgro's "ORDER" skipped being "processed by a secretary;" or the judge's clerk forget to "verify that the substance of the order matches what was reported by the courtroom clerk on an electronic filing system;" or forgot to check "the electronic record to make sure that the order landed in the correct courtroom."

Because no such hearing ever took place in Judge Saittta's court on that day, nobody followed proper procedures; there was no report on the electronic filing system of the hearing in Saitta's court; no electronic record; and no correct courtroom listed.

Talk about insulting the intelligence of anyone who's been paying attention!

The part of the story that says, "The order then goes to the judge to review and sign. In some situations, however, the clerk will stamp the judge's signature on the document."

If that happened, and it obviously didn't, the day she received her caution letter, Saitta should've named the clerk or fired him on the spot.

The Sun article ends, "She confirmed that the commission issued her a 'letter of caution,' to make sure, she said, that her staff understood the procedures on the use of her signature stamp."

"Saitta said her staff uses the signature stamp to sign orders for her occasionally, when she's too busy."

Evidently, she was not "too busy" on September 2004 because Saitta most likely took pen in hand and signed Sgro's "ORDER" herself!

Here is her signature for all to see. If someone can prove this is from a simple rubber stamp, I will gladly stand corrected.

Its not that hard to catch a crooked politician. I'm not a cop, lawyer, or FBI agent. I'm just patient, set traps, sit back, and wait until they step in it. Most politicians are too self absorbed and arrogant to cover their tracks, and fall prey. I actually use their own system against them. I've learned that if the evidence is indisputable, public agencies will take action against corrupt public officials.

Now I need to prove to the Commission on Judicial Discipline that Judge Saitta may have once again lied -- this time about her signature.

In the meantime, I offer the "esteemed" Mayor" and "honorable" Judge this advice: With friends like Sgro and Rizzolo, you sure don't need enemies!

As Mayor Goodman said, this is all about "the integrity of the system."

Copyright © Steve Miller


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