What's become of Danny Kennedy?
"I don't want the mob to get after me. I have a family." -
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
December 27, 2004
LAS VEGAS - In Fall 2000, former porno book store manager Danny Kennedy
called this writer to tell a shocking story. Kennedy, who had managed the
LA Hot bookstore located next to the Crazy Horse
Too topless bar, began by telling me that he witnessed beatings, sexual
activity, and drug sales outside his neighbor's business. He then alleged
he was involved in the bribing of a city
councilman who had said he wanted to close the adult book store in
order to clean up the neighborhood.
Kennedy stated: "I
took a check over there to keep us open and I handed it to (Frederick)
Rick Rizzolo which was supposed to go to the right councilman, McDonald,
which would get him off our back. That didn't happen. I gave him the check,
but that didn't get him off our back because we're out of business. Rick
took it and cashed it. It happened in 97...The (book store) owner's name
was Loren Malitz. He has no spine...There was all kinds of shit going on
at that time. I seen blueprints for this whole building Rick has. Plans
for our store before it even came about...Now this is the way it was told
to me by Loren. He told me to keep my mouth shut - don't say anything to
anybody - this was going to keep us in business - this money goes to Mr.
McDonald. That's what Lorin told me. He said you take this check over to
Rick and he'll take care of it and get it to the right people. So I walked
next door and gave the check to Rick. It was for one hundred thousand dollars.
It was made out to Rizzolo. There were other checks but they didn't go
through my hands. They went directly from Loren to Rick...Loren's got no
spine at all. Other checks were passed to Rizzolo to keep us open. But
it didn't work. The man f---ked up my life. That was my living. I don't
want the mob to get after me. I have a family."
After my amazing phone interview with Kennedy, he participated in a
taped interview on January 24, 2001 with licensed private investigator
Kennedy told Maddox: "Yeah,
they're the one that beat up this Hawaiian guy out there that was just
- the poor guy wasn't even moving, and they were kicking him, and, um,
at that point that's all. They were just kicking him around, jumping on
him, stomping on his arm. They stomped his leg. Kicked him in the stomach.
They kept - Moe was kicking him in the head, and you just watched his head
wiggle around. The manager guy would poke his head out the door, but he
wouldn't walk out. He'd just - he'd open the door and look out and then
step back in. I never seen - he didn't come out."
The beating was the basis of a wrongful death lawsuit brought on July
30, 1997 by the widow and daughters of Scott
David Fau. Fau was found dead on August 4, 1995, next to railroad tracks
behind the topless bar. His body was discovered two hours following a severe
beating at the hands of Crazy Horse bouncers.
(Clark County Morgue)
Kennedy also told Maddox that on the occasions he witnessed beatings
he would call 911 to report the activity - but that police failed
to respond to his calls. Based on his taped statement, Kennedy was
asked to take a lie detector test. The results indicated the high probability
that he was telling the truth.
On December 12, 2000, Rick Rizzolo sued Danny Kennedy for defamation.
Kennedy was a key witness in two lawsuits against Rizzolo and the Crazy
Horse: a harassment and racketeering suit brought by Rizzolo's next door
neighbor, garage owner Buffalo Jim Barrier; and the wrongful death lawsuit
brought by Camille Fau, Scott Fau's widow. The defamation case was assigned
to Clark County District Court Judge Nancy M. Saitta who coincidentally
was the judge in the other two cases.
Amazingly, Judge Saitta had been "randomly" assigned to five cases involving
Rizzolo, something unprecedented in Nevada history. Saitta allowed the
defamation suit against Kennedy to proceed in her court even though he
was a witness in two other cases on her calendar. She evidently saw no
conflicts in doing so. When two separate motions were filed to remove her
from all five cases, Rizzolo strongly objected and Saitta remained on all
cases in which he was a litigant.
AFFIDAVIT OF DANNY KENNEDY:
employed, from June of 1991 to October of 1998, by Night Productions, manager
of its business "LA Hot," an adult store, located on Industrial Road, Las
Vegas, Nevada, in the same buildings as and next to "The Crazy Horse Too."
1. Night Productions,
Inc. experienced increasing harassment from officials of the City of Las
Vegas during the period affiant was manager. Such harassment would consist
of repeated inspections which were alleged to have found new code violations
and alleged violations of new and changing code provisions. Night Productions
would promptly comply with requirements imposed after such inspections.
in 1997, Rick Rizzolo, owner of "Crazy Horse Too," began coming to the
premises of "LA Hot" to inspect such premises. He would be accompanied
at various times by architects and other persons who would take measurements
and openly discuss plans for the expansion of "Crazy Horse Too" into the
space occupied by "LA Hot."
personally saw architectural plans and drawings depicting the expansion
of the "Crazy Horse Too" into both the "LA Hot" space and the entire building
in which LA Hot was located, including plans to put facilities for "dancers"
into the building along the rear or west side of the property with a sky
bridge for the "dancers" to walk from that building to the "Crazy Horse
4. After 1997,
the harassment from the City of Las Vegas increased and legal efforts were
made by the City to close "LA Hot" Nevertheless affiant is informed that
Night Productions, inc. was successful in defending against such legal
5. In discussion
with Rick Rizzolo, affiant was advised that in order to stop the harassment,
"You have to grease the right hands, that you just have to pay the right
people and that I (Rizzolo) have been doing it for years."
during or about February of 1998, Night Productions, paid to Rizzolo, $10,000
as and for a bribe of undisclosed City of Las Vegas officials. These moneys
were to have been routed through an attorney and be distributed to such
7. The harassment
and legal actions continued despite this payment. Accordingly, information
and belief; another such payment was made of an unknown amount, sometime
between February of 1998 and October of 1998.
8. In October
of 1998, affiant was approached by an employee of Rick Rizzolo with information
that Mike McDonald was pushing to get "LA Hot" closed and that Las Vegas
City officials were coming to "LA Hot" to attempt to close the store. The
employee advised affiant to have the owner of "LA Hot" call Rick Rizzolo
on his cell phone and arrange for a bribe to be paid to stop such attempt.
employer came to the premises of "LA Hot," obtained the company check book,
and wrote a check in the amount of $150,000 to Rick Rizzolo. Affiant was
instructed that this check was a bribe for Mike McDonald and to deliver
the check directly to Rick Rizzolo. Affiant personally took that check
to the office of Rick Rizzolo in the "Crazy Horse Too" and handed that
check to Rick Rizzolo. That check was drawn on the account of Night Productions,
inc. maintained with First Interstate Bank, or Wells Fargo Bank. Affiant
was further instructed that he could never disclose the delivery of that
check. He was further advised not to worry, that "this is the way the business
is familiar with all the business and financial dealings of Night Productions,
Inc. There were no business transactions between Rick Rizzolo and Night
Productions, Inc. and no other reason for payments being made from Night
Productions, Inc. to Rick Rizzolo or to Mike McDonald.
thereafter; affiant was suddenly and unexpectedly instructed that he was
to hold a three day sale, liquidate all inventory in the store "LA Hot,"
and close and vacate the store.
12. The business
"LA Hot" earned net income of approximately $150,000 during the year prior
to its closing. The store, at that point in time, had approximately $100,000
in new inventory including un-crated cigars, exotic clothing and sex toys.
Such inventory was essentially abandoned by Night Productions, Inc. The
store was closed as instructed and "Crazy Horse Too" began its expansion
into the space formerly occupied by 'LA Hot."
Following the filing of Kennedy's initial Affidavit, he was allegedly
contacted by Rizzolo. Following that alleged contact, Kennedy filed this
follow up Affidavit:
OF DANNY KENNEDY:
being first duly sworn on oath, deposes and says:
1. That I have
personal knowledge of the matters set forth in this Affidavit or as to
those matters asserted on information and belief.
2. That I filed
an Affidavit on Frederick Rizzolo a couple of months ago.
3. That Frederick
Rizzolo stopped me in the back of the shop and asked me if I filed the
Affidavit on him yet and I stated that I had not. That Rick Rizzolo then
directed me to plead the Fifth and that there would be no problems.
Rizzolo then stated to me that he filed a lawsuit against me and stated
that I should tell my boss to take care of it and also stated that my boss
would pay for my attorney's fees and again told me to plead the Fifth and
everything would be okay.
5. That now
after realizing that I did file the Affidavit, Rick Rizzolo and his father
Bart Rizzolo do not say hello or wave at me. They seem angry at me. I don't
feel safe at work anymore and my wife feels threatened and will
not go to my work.
In April 2001, Frederick Rizzolo contacted reporters to say that Danny
Kennedy recanted the validity of his first two Affidavits.
OF DANNY KENNEDY:
1. I do recall
signing a piece of paper which my boss, James Barrier, asked me to sign,
but I did not read it. I had no idea that I was signing a legal document.
2. Upon reading
those Affidavits, I know that the contents of the Affidavits are almost
entirely false. I have never observed any drug use or prostitution in or
around the Crazy Horse Too. I have never observed any employee acting improperly.
recant Affidavit was presented to attorneys representing plaintiffs in
cases against Rizzolo and the Crazy Horse Too, cases in which Danny Kennedy
was to be a key witness, the shocked attorneys scheduled a hearing in Judge
Saitta's court. Prior to the hearing, process servers attempted to serve
Kennedy with a subpoena to appear, but he was no where to be found. When
Kennedy was a no-show at the hearing, Judge Saitta ordered Jim Barrier
to pay Rizzolo's attorneys $4,500 for their inconvenience. Judge
Saitta then dismissed Danny Kennedy as a witness in the harassment, racketeering,
and wrongful death lawsuits -- but kept him on as the defendant in Rizzolo's
After eight years of delays and dismissals, the wrongful death case
finally went to trial. On January 13, 2003, without Danny Kennedy's testimony,
Camille Fau lost her case after the jury was instructed to not connect
the beating to Fau's death two hours later. Mrs. Fau could not afford to
hire expert medical witnesses to testify that blunt force trauma sometimes
results in death hours after an injury, and based on instructions given
the jury, the jurors were not allowed to speculate that this had occurred.
Defendants Michael Muscato,
Rick Rizzolo leaving court
Darrin Brey, Albert Rapuano
(LV Review-Journal photos by John Gurzinski)
Since the verdict, I have often tried to access the court's record,
But on all tries the following information appears on the Clark County
District Court website:
|District Case Inquiry - Party Search Results
Last Name: Fau First Name:
97-A-376484-C 07/30/1997 Jury Trial in progress
- Access Denied - ACTIVE
Generated on 12/22/2004 at 11:10:28 AM
trial ended almost two years ago, the website still says "Jury Trial in
progress," and "Access Denied" to those who wish to do research. In all
my years researching local court cases, this is the first time a court
has failed to update its records in a timely fashion thereby effectively
sealing the records without a court order to do so -- something I'm sure
is less than legal.
Saitta, this is not the first time she or a member of her family has been
linked to controversy.
May 27, 2002, Edition of U.S. News and World Report featured a story
entitled "In the line of fire - A Secret Service agent blows the whistle
on his agency and winds up the target of investigators."
The story tells of the plight of Carter Kim who served as a Secret Service
agent for nearly two decades. "The former Honolulu cop and 18-year Secret
Service veteran earned top reviews... for his work busting counterfeit
and forgery rings. He also served on the elite presidential protective
detail. In 2002, he was the subject of an internal Secret Service investigation."
The story goes on: "At the heart of the matter -- according to interviews
and Kim's three sworn statements to the Secret Service Equal Employment
Office, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, and the Secret Service inspection
division -- is his charge that the Secret Service mistreated him after
he blew the whistle on an alleged cover-up of missing evidence in the Las
Vegas field office."
"In his filed EEO complaint, Kim says that he told his boss, Special
Agent in Charge Joseph Saitta (Judge Saitta's husband), that security for
the office's evidence vault was lax. Entry logs, which tracked access to
the vault, were incomplete. The vault was left unlocked at night. Kim had
complained of other security lapses for three years. 'The office was crashing
and burning,' said Kim," in the article.
"In November, the Treasury Department's inspector general alerted the
Las Vegas Secret Service office that an audit was imminent. Kim alleges
in his complaint that (Joseph) Saitta told the agents not to volunteer
information because 'we have a one-voice policy' and (Joseph) Saitta was
that voice. Kim charged in a sworn statement that, as the agents prepared
for the audit, (Joseph) Saitta told him to create fictitious documents
to hide the gaps in the entry logs," Kim told U.S. News and World Report.
"More problems were allegedly discovered including counterfeit money
turned in by Vegas banks and casinos that was found missing. Kim alleges
in his statement that (Joseph) Saitta told an agent to mark the missing
items as destroyed. Even evidence seized from forgers and counterfeiters
couldn't be found," according to the news story.
"Kim charged that (Joseph) Saitta ordered agents to scour the office
for substitute equipment that could pass for evidence -- and that (Joseph)
Saitta even joined in the search."
The audit concluded that there were problems with the handling of evidence.
Afterward, Kim said he tried to correct the problems.
Kim told the reporter that he "blew the whistle when the
Secret Service's internal-affairs division visited Las Vegas in March 2002,
for a routine inspection. A few weeks later, Kim says he found inspectors
waiting for him. Kim said the agency is trying to nail him for the alleged
Joseph Saitta retired shortly after the controversy surfaced.
Meanwhile in District Court, two peremptory challenge motions were filed
to remove Judge Nancy Saitta from cases involving Frederick Rizzolo. Nonetheless,
the judge steadfastly refused to step down from the Fau case, but after
criticizing her for having so many cases involving the same litigant, she
transferred the Barrier case, and the Kennedy defamation action, to other
courts -- even though Danny Kennedy was still missing.
On August 20, 2001, Judge Saitta proclaimed the following in open court:
"Mr. Rizzolo has a good name in the community." The judge made her
statement just before dismissing conspiracy and civil RICO causes against
Rizzolo, and just before she ordered Barrier to pay $4,500 to Rizzolo's
Even though Judge Saitta dismissed a civil RICO lawsuit four years earlier,
Frederick Rizzolo is again facing similar charges, this time from the FBI
and IRS. These criminal charges are expected to also include conspiracy
and RICO, but may additionally include political corruption and income
tax evasion. Indictments are expected in January or February 2005.
Danny Kennedy hasn't been seen for several years, but his last words
continue to haunt me: "I don't want the mob to get after me. I have
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