Rizzolo Explains What Happened
COMMENTARY: Steve Miller
Las Vegas Tribune
November 20, 2002
On September 20, 2001, Kansas resident Kirk
Henry allegedly had his neck broken by a bouncer at the Crazy Horse
Too topless bar, 2476 Industrial Rd. On October 2, 2001, Henry sued the
Crazy Horse and its’ owner, Frederick "Rick" Rizzolo, for Attempted Murder.
The case was assigned to Clark County District Court Judge Jeffery Sobel.
On March 14, 2002, less than six months after Sobel was assigned the
Henry case, Rizzolo wrote a check for $5,000 to
Judge Sobel’s campaign committee. On September 27, 2002, Rizzolo gave Sobel
$5,000 making him the judge’s biggest campaign contributor. Even though
Rizzolo was a Defendant in his court, Sobel evidently had no problem accepting
his $10,000 largesse.
On August 4, 1995, California tourist Scott
David Fau died from injuries described by medical examiners as "blunt
force trauma consistent with a severe beating and/or positional asphyxiation."
Like Kirk Henry, Scott Fau had also engaged in a disagreement with Crazy
Horse bouncers prior to sustaining his injuries. His widow, Camille Fau,
sued the Crazy Horse for Wrongful Death. The case was assigned to Clark
County District Court Judge
Nancy M. Saitta.
Shortly thereafter, Rick Rizzolo donated $5,000 to Judge Saitta’s political
campaign committee. Even though Rizzolo was a Defendant in her court, Saitta
also had no problem accepting his $5,000 largesse. Judge Saitta ran unopposed
in the November 5 election.
In the meantime Kirk Henry is a quadriplegic, and Scott Fau is dead.
On October 14, 2002, Clark County Deputy
District Attorney Mitchell Cohen stated, "A criminal investigation
involving the (Kirk Henry) incident was initiated by the Las Vegas Metropolitan
Police Department. The investigation is now being (led) by the Federal
Bureau of Investigation, and is active and ongoing." A Federal
Grand Jury is also looking into that and other issues involving Rizzolo.
Until recently, other media seldom reported on these two important cases
leaving the Las Vegas Tribune solely to inform the public. Because of this
newspaper’s relentless coverage, and after repeated attempts to interview
Rizzolo, he consented to tell his side of the story in a Letter
to the Tribune Editor published on October 17, 2001.
Regarding Kirk Henry’s broken neck, Mr. Rizzolo wrote, "Mr. (Steve)
Miller also refers to another alleged beating that occurred at my club
on September 20, 2001. No ‘beating’ ever occurred on my premises on that
day. A customer leaving the club drunk did trip, but in no way was this
man ‘beaten.’ About the only accurate fact reported by Mr. Miller was the
club personnel were standing over the injured man. Of course, Mr. Miller
does not mention that my employees were assisting the injured man, as that
would ruin his insinuation that my employees had ‘beat up’ this man."
Regarding Scott Fau’s death, Mr. Rizzolo wrote, "Mr. Fau was not found
beaten to death. Mr. Fau was not even dead when he was found. Contrary
to what Mr. (Steve) Miller chooses to report, the coroner who examined
Mr. Fau's body could not determine the cause of death but completely ruled
out that Mr. Fau was beaten to death or that his death was caused by an
altercation. Mr. Fau, with his friend, had come into the Crazy Horse Too
in an inebriated state and threatened and harassed my bartender, When my
employees were attempting to eject Mr. Fau, who was at least six feet tall
and weighed 300 pounds, from the club, Mr. Fau took off his belt, wrapped
it around his hand, and struck one or more of my employees, injuring them.
Two of my employees eventually had to go to the hospital for those injuries.
The police had to be called in and it was the police who ejected Mr. Fau
and his friend from the premises and saw these two people walk southwards
away from the club. At least three hours had elapsed before Mr. Fau's body
was found on the train tracks far from Crazy Horse Too."
It will be up to the trier of fact in both cases to determine the validly
of Mr. Rizzolo’s explanations.
On November 5, probably to Mr. Rizzolo’s dismay, Judge Sobel lost the
election by a landslide to newcomer Jackie Glass. After carefully checking
Judge-elect Glass’s campaign finance reports on the Secretary
of State’s website, no campaign contribution from either of Rizzolo’s
corporations could be found.
The election of a new judge ostensibly paves the way for Mr. Henry to
receive a fair trial – considered unusual in Clark County after a Defendant
invests $10,000 in the political campaign of the judge presiding over his
case. Judge Sobel set no trial date, and Jackie Glass takes office on January
In the Fau case, though Judge Saitta was asked to recuse,
she set the jury trial for January 6, 2003.
Meanwhile, seeming oblivious to the criminal investigations and pending
trials, Mr. Rizzolo just announced a major expansion
of his bar.
Steve Miller writes a weekly column in the Las Vegas Tribune on organized
crime and political corruption. Visit his personal website at: http://www.stevemiller4lasvegas.com
email Steve Miller at: Stevemiller4lv@aol.com