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: http://www.SteveMiller4LasVegas.com
don't tell Steve Miller" -
Vice President, CB
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
November 12, 2007
LAS VEGAS - On Wednesday, the clock secretly stopped ticking that would
have marked the final day the trouble plagued Crazy Horse Too strip
club could maintain its adult use zoning.
Had December 31, 2007 arrived without the business open and pouring
Crazy Horse would have automatically lost its grandfathered zoning
and never again would be able to reopen as a strip club according to a
city law that was quietly amended last Wednesday by the most unlikely
of public officials.
Photo by Ethan Miller / LAS VEGAS SUN
Lois Tarkanian is the wife of legendary UNLV basketball coach Jerry
Tarkanian. The churchgoing grandmother does not fit the description of
a mob moll, but her action at last Wednesday's Las Vegas City Council
meeting made some observers think otherwise when she quietly sponsored
a bill to extend
the time from six months to one year that the Crazy Horse Too could
remain closed and still retain its "Adult Use" zoning.
Had Tarkanian not acted swiftly, the public on December 31 would have
permanently been spared a possible repeat of the violence, extortion,
money laundering, prostitution, and drug sales that made Rick
Rizzolo and his band of thieves filthy rich.
What is Tarkanian's obligation that made her risk
her reputation the way she did? Rick Rizzolo is serving a sentence in
Federal Prison for racketeering and deserves no favors, so why did she
quietly help him?
I've learned that her sponsorship of the stealth bill designed to
benefit only one person was never supposed to see media coverage,
especially to be reported on AmericanMafia.com.
Its intended secrecy was made evident when Geoffrey West, the broker
assigned to sell the Crazy Horse, told an INSIDE VEGAS source, "Please
don't tell Steve Miller" about Tarkanian's action.
Well, someone did tell Steve
Miller, however I don't
blame Mr. West because he stands to make a 5% commission off the
sale, and its worth a lot more open for business than as a dumpy
It's now more obvious than ever that Rizzolo and his cronies have at
least two, possibly three, lackeys on the City Council ready to grant
anyone -- no matter their
criminal background -- a new liquor license to reopen the
mobbed-up strip club. And this worries me a lot.
Why is a shut down topless bar causing such trepidation at city hall?
would think by all the hullabaloo it was a matter of national security
to get it back open!
It's because the Mob doesn't take No for an answer, they want their
gold mine back, and they're willing to pay for the privilege.
Abstaining on Wednesday's vote to approve Tarkanian's ordinance was
former defense attorney; and former corporate
resident agent Mayor Oscar
Goodman. The rest of the council, including Councilman Steve Wolfson,
lined up like sheep to help Rizzolo sell his club for top dollar.
Wolfson's wife, District Court Judge Jackie Glass, recently denied
attorneys for beating victim Kirk Henry the ability to examine Rick
Rizzolo's personal assets. The judge's husband the councilman soon
thereafter voted to grant
a liquor license to a straw man who was not qualified to operate
the Crazy Horse too in Rizzolo's absence.
The Rizzolo juice machine obviously runs all the way from the Clark
County Regional Justice Center to Las Vegas City Hall!
Had Tarkanian's ordinance failed, and if a bidder was not found who
enough to to pay
off all Rick and Lisa Rizzolo's debts amounting to around $25 million
dollars by the former deadline of December 31, the shuttered topless
bar and its land would have reverted to warehouse use only, and its
price would have tumbled to about $5.4 million -- its recently
appraised value. But Councilwoman Tarkanian would have none of that!
It seems that keeping Lisa Rizzolo out of prison for "Conspiracy
to defraud the United States" is more important to Tarkanian than
looking out for the public's safety. According to information in an FBI
Mrs. Rizzolo with the help of a prominent
local attorney hid her assets from seizure to pay court ordered
Without Councilwoman Tarkanian's and Judge Glass' official actions,
Mrs. Rizzolo could get indicted if she refused to reveal
where her assets are hidden in the event the government could not
collect enough money through the sale of the Crazy Horse to pay off her
debts. It's obvious no one in the imaginary Sin
City Social Register wants that to happen to the ex-wife of a man
when he's not in the slammer,
elbows with all of Nevada's movers and shakers at Freddy Glusman's
Las Vegas and Newport Beach mob
hang outs. So it appears to many INSIDE VEGAS readers that at least
two local elected officials have used their public positions to
increase the value of a topless bar in order to protect the ill
begotten fortune of a Vegas political maven.
The former city ordinance -- if not tampered with -- would have made it
easy for U.S. Federal
Court Judge Philip Pro to shut the place down permanently. All he had
to do was delay approving a buyer until after the first of the year.
Now, because of Tarkanian's action, Judge Pro no longer has that
at least not for the next 12 months.
In the meantime, and with Tarkanian's future help, the bar can be
a court, and Rizzolo, approved operator, and then sold with a liquor
license and grand fathered adult
use zoning for many times its value as a warehouse. This also worries
me a lot because only the Mob would pay that much for a broken down
warehouse in a seedy part of town.
The bar's original owners want it back, and
will pay any amount to save face and resume the carnage that made them
a reported $45 million per year profit. In the past, names including
Lombardo, Faraci, Doumani, and Cusumano pop up each time the Crazy
Horse name was mentioned. Former Crazy Horse manager Rocco
Lombardo is the brother of Chicago Crime Boss Joey "The Clown"
Lombardo, and former Crazy Horse manager Vinny
Faraci (presently in
federal prison) is the son
of a feared Bonanno crime family loan shark. Joey Cusumano was Tony "The
Ant" Spilotro's right hand man and is currently a close friend and party
guest of LV Mayor Oscar Goodman. For some reason, Councilwoman
Tarkanian just helped them out even though she and I discussed in depth
the mob associates involved in the former Crazy Horse Too operation.
She was also a regular reader of this column and my E-Briefs on this
subject, so she
knows the consequence of what she just did unless she's been in
hibernation since our meetings.
If the zoning was allowed to expire and the place returned to warehouse
use only, the difference between the selling price and Rizzolo's
personal obligations would have had to be taken from the Lisa M.
Rizzolo Separate Property Trust and several mysterious LLC's that were
formed a week before Rick Rizzolo was indicted. In all, the Rizzolos
transferred and hid a fortune amounting to at least $25 million
dollars - more than enough to cover their debts to the Henry's, IRS,
Security Pacific Bank, City of Las Vegas, State of Nevada, and next
door neighbor Buffalo Jim Barrier who holds a $1 million dollar lien on
the bar and property.
When assets are transferred during a divorce that
occurs weeks in advance of an indictment, the court can easily reverse
and seize the assets to pay debts accrued during the time of the
So Tarkanian's excuse that
she was just trying to help beating victim Kirk Henry's pay
his medical bills is false. The money is readily available if the
court wants to go after the Rizzolo's personal assets. But most
troubling is that Tarkanian's careless action may
expose future Kirk Henry's to grave harm.
the bill was announced at the council meeting,
Councilwoman Tarkanian made the motion to pass her ordinance within 42
seconds. It passed by unanimous vote with Mayor Goodman abstaining. (He
probably knew in advance of the item and would not vote based on an ethics
complaint I filed in 2006). There was no discussion, not even by
Mayor Pro Tem Gary Reese who represents Ward 3, the ward in which the
Crazy Horse is located. (I don't think Councilman Reese was aware of
the serious ramifications of the ordinance before voting, therefore he
the item back for reconsideration if he is so inclined.)
Now, it's anticipated the councilwoman is primed to again use her
help Rizzolo by appointing an interim operator of his choosing to run
his club. Selected by Rizzolo from his prison cell, this operator may
bar and help it regain its previous value to the mob -- a possibility
also deeply troubles me at a time when the Las Vegas community is
trying to rid itself of its Mob heritage and image.
The only way this will not happen soon, is if United States Federal
Court Judge Philip Pro sees through the scam, does not approve a
questionable buyer, and orders the Crazy
Horse liquidated immediately. If not, I'm afraid it will reopen under
Rizzolo's charge, and later be sold to one of his associates to resume
the criminal acts that made it the most profitable topless bar in
The Tarkanians are involved in a trust deed with
Rizzolo's best friend Freddy Glusman. It goes all the way back to 1993.
I can't say for sure, but this relationship may have had something to
do with her sponsorship of the ordinance.
Last Friday, after being confronted by an
INSIDE VEGAS reader who learned of the councilwoman's sponsorship in my
daily Insider E-Brief, the councilwoman
allegedly told him she was not behind the ordinance. Then she
reportedly said the
conceived by one of her business associates, a man who lives in Newport
Beach, even though her name was listed as the "Sponsor," and she made
the motion to approve!
If this is truly the case, and she has second thoughts, she can bring
the item back for reconsideration.
But I won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.
Tarkanian being elected, Rizzolo's stooge on the
city council was Michael
McDonald who is presently the subject of a
The city council
just gave up one of its most effective legal tools to shut down this
corrupt enterprise for once and for all -- the ability to stop a
nonconforming use after 180 days of inactivity. Based on the
stealthiness of this action, I'm very concerned that
the Mafia is about to make an
end run to regain their power in Sin City.
The ball is now in the
court of Federal Judge Philip Pro.
Steve Miller is currently writing a true crime book on
the mob's battle to keep the Crazy Horse Too open
* * *
Dear Councilwoman Tarkanian:
I want to give you the benefit of the doubt.
I was recently informed that you are telling people you were not aware
of the adverse effect your recent sponsorship of an ordinance to extend the time
a business can remain inactive and still maintain its non-conforming zoning
could have on the safety and welfare of our community and tourism.
If it's true as you say that you didn't realize the shuttered Crazy Horse
Too topless bar would be the first and primary beneficiary of your
suspiciously-timed ordinance, as a council member you can now bring the
ordinance back for reconsideration within five business days of its passage,
postpone its ratification until January 2008, and help end the violence at this
criminal enterprise once and for all.
Had you waited until after the first of the year to sponsor your bill, the
grandfathered adult use zoning of the bar would have expired on December 30,
2007, 180 days after it was closed by the City of Las Vegas, and the
threat to the safety and welfare of its patrons would have finally ended.
Instead, I believe someone with loyalties to persons other than your
constituents requested you sponsor an ordinance designed to help the
Crazy Horse maintain its zoning for another year to enhance its property's
value and provide a handsome commission to a national real estate broker who can
sell it at a higher price with its zoning in tact.
Your quiet action extended the time the Crazy Horse could be sold and
consequently helped prevent the imminent forfeiture of Rick and Lisa
Rizzolo's personal assets to cover their court ordered debts in the event the
bar did not sell by the former December 30 deadline.
Your action also inspired the bar's reopening and possible resumption of
the violent business practices that caused its closure.
Based on the above, I hope you understand my serious concerns over the past
9 years which you recently demeaned through your reference: "Steve Miller is
obsessed with this issue."
Yes, it is an obsession. An obsession with ending the carnage that resulted
in the convictions of 16 men including your husband's good friend Rick
Rizzolo. Men who made their fortunes through extortion and the use of
violence against patrons who refused their demands. Men who should be banned
from the adult entertainment industry for the rest of their lives but are being
represented by attorneys in your mayor's law firm and, with his law
partner's help, may be permitted back into the business.
You should also be obsessed with keeping the place closed and preserving
the safety and welfare of your constituents!
If you truly were unaware of the consequences of your action -- possibly
duped into bringing the ordinance before the council at this highly suspicious
time -- I offer the following legal remedy to reverse the harm you've
According to city law, you have until 5 PM Thursday November 15 to
bring your ill-timed ordinance back for reconsideration.
If you do, you can postpone the law's ratification until after the
first of the year thereby letting the Crazy Horse zoning expire as it would
have on December 31 following 180 days of inactivity per the zoning law before
you altered it.
You told one of my associates that you sponsored the ordinance at the
behest of a local developer who has a home in Newport Beach. If you're now
concerned you were tricked into sponsoring the ordinance to help this man
gain favor with Rizzolo and his friends at the beach, you should be
concerned enough to bring your item back for reconsideration, then
recommend its passage occur after January 1.
If you don't bring your ill-timed ordinance back for reconsideration
by Thursday November 15, then my worst suspicions will be confirmed -- you were
acting willfully at the behest of mob associate friends of your
husband Jerry Tarkanian -- men who want to reopen the Crazy Horse Too and
resume the carnage.
Councilwoman, your loyalties should be to your Las Vegas constituents, not
to mobsters who joined with Jerry on April 29 to honor
Rizzolo at his "Farewell
" held at the Ritz eleven days after you voted to re-open his Crazy
Horse Too despite
from the city attorney and Las Vegas police to deny the
Your immediate action will speak much louder than your hollow words.
Former Las Vegas Councilman Steve
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