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
Spilotro's nephew defends brother of
the man accused of his uncle's murder
Lombardo and lawyer John
Spilotro at the
Rizzolo and Rocco during happier times
photo by Gary Thompson)
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
February 26, 2007
LAS VEGAS -
If there were a sequel to the movie Casino,
Tony "The Ant" Spilotro (played by Joe Pesci) would be shown conducting
business at the Crazy Horse Too topless bar.
1980's, Tony was often seen at the club in the company of Joey
Cusumano and Fred
Doumani. When Spilotro wanted to meet with club owner Rick
in Rizzolo's private office, the ritual would always include Cusumano
placing a chair in front of Rizzolo's office door and sitting there
until the meeting concluded.
(Left) Tony Spilotro,
Oscar Goodman, and Herb
(Middle) Joey Cusumano and Goodman. (Right) Goodman and Harry Claiborne
Spilotro's crime spree in Vegas, local criminal attorney Oscar Goodman
(who played himself in the movie)
stayed close to his mob clients while becoming rich collecting their
At the time, Goodman was highly successful in encouraging friendly judges to keep his
clients out of jail, though he was not considered that good a trial
attorney by most court observers.
Nonetheless, Goodman usually got his way before local judges, and
because of Goodman's lawyering, Spilotro's crime spree was allowed to
go on unabated for several years despite the
best efforts of local law enforcement.
and first law partner was Harry Claiborne who became a Federal Court
Judge. Claiborne was the only Federal Judge ever to be impeached and
put in prison for taking bribes. Claiborne was also credited for
teaching Goodman his trade. Goodman unsuccessfully defended the
disgraced jurist during his impeachment hearing and criminal trial --
the first time Goodman ever lost a high profile case.
Ironically, Frank Cullotta, a member of Spilotro's notorious "Hole in the wall
gang," told authorities
that Spilotro's crew planned their heists in Goodman's 520 South Fourth
Street law office conference
never said whether Goodman was aware of how his private office was
Spilotro's 1986 murder in an Indiana corn field, a murder the FBI
was carried out on an order
given by Chicago crime boss Joey "The Clown"
Lombardo, a new face suddenly appeared in the Vegas underworld scene.
Joey's brother Rocco
arrived at the Crazy Horse within hours of Spilotro's death.
Long time bar employees were immediately taken
aback by Rocco's brazen actions. One described the then-unknown Rocco
the storeroom and removing several bottles of the club's most expensive
champaign. When a manager questioned the action, he was told that Rocco
of the new owners and to leave him alone.
Following Joey Lombardo's January 2006 arrest in Chicago, the Feds
first revealed that they believe Joey "The Clown"
arranged the killing of Rizzolo's pal Tony Spilotro. It's also
alleged that Rocco and Rizzolo had concealed Rocco's brother's
from authorities when they came asking questions.
During a 2001 video taped deposition
shown by investigative reporter Glen Meek on KVBC TV News, Rizzolo was asked
about his relationship with Rocco Lombardo's brother Joey "The Clown."
Rizzolo replied, "I don't know. His brother's named Joey. I don't know
if he's a clown or not."
Rick Rizzolo reportedly became friends with Joey
"The Clown" soon after
Spilotro's murder in 1986.
They were seen dining
together two or three times in
Chicago restaurants with
Crazy Horse Too boss Al
Rapuano. Since then, the Lombardo
brothers have been suspected hidden owners in the Crazy Horse along
with Joey Cusumano, Fred
Doumani, and Vinny Faraci.
However, the suspected hidden ownership by any of these men has not yet
been confirmed by the FBI or any other law enforcement agency, though
Faraci, Rapuano, and Rocco Lombardo pleaded guilty to skimming cash
from the club. Faraci received five months, Rapuano
months, and Lombardo was placed on probation.
Now, Tony Spilotro's nephew who has a Las Vegas law practice is
representing the brother of
the guy who allegedly killed his uncle! Go figure that one out!
At his trial, Rocco Lombardo was described by John Spilotro as being in poor health, and worked only as a "doorman" at the Crazy Horse. Judge
James Mahan took sympathy
and last week
let Rocco off with a slap
on the wrist
claiming he is too sickly to go to prison.
(current?) mob lawyer Goodman is running unopposed for his third term
Mayor of Sin City, and unabashedly protects the Crazy Horse every
chance he gets.
Even with his current and past associations, Oscar Goodman remains
immensely popular and is considered the modern day image, and moral
compass of our town on a national and international basis.
Hip Hop City?
Rizzolo and daughter Monica Rizzolo-Pendelton
After five shootings, five
rapes, and 352
arrests, the person who refers to himself as "The Happiest Mayor in
the Universe" called last week's NBA All-Star weekend a huge
That's not surprising since this is the same Mayor who discounted the dozens
of beatings and two murders at his friend's Crazy
Horse Too topless bar as "...just
a business practice that's entirely unacceptable."
Never mind that local residents had to wait and wait for Metro Police
to respond to calls for service -- cops who normally patrol
neighborhoods were seen en-masse on
the Strip during the entire weekend of mayhem that the
Mayor called one of the great weekends in Las Vegas
even went so far as to gleefully propose that the same local citizens
who could have ended up in the hospital or morgue for lack of
protection, be taxed up to $450 million to build
a new stadium for the
future enjoyment of those
who wreaked havoc on our city.
This while the casino owners refuse to pay for overtime police
protection in the resort corridor where business owners reported mass
shoplifting and problems in
restaurants over the NBA weekend. One 24 hour coffee shop near the
Strip had to close to avoid exposing employees to the violent crowd who
would eat and walk out without paying.
In the meantime, cops are investigating a shooting at
the Minxx strip club that injured three people and left a club employee
The owner of the
club says he has surveillance showing Adam "Pacman"
Jones, 23, a Tennessee Titans football player who was in town with his
entourage to attend the NBA game. With him in the club's VIP section
Jermaine Dupri and Cornelius Haynes Jr., better known as Nelly, who
were drinking with the shooter.
Police reports indicate Jones punched a female dancer which sparked
his eviction from the club and the subsequent shooting of the club
employees who ejected Jones. According to the latest reports, Jones
back to Tennessee and is refusing to cooperate with Vegas police. Since
then, the owner and employees of the club have received numerous
one saying "If you don't leave Pacman alone, we're going to kill you,
your family and everyone in the club," according to club co-owner
But even this hasn't dampened our Mayor's spirits. He still insists
that the NBA weekend went well no matter the damage done to our town's
reputation, and a new stadium is needed to host more
such NBA events and the clientele they attract. The likely reason for
enthusiasm is that the name of the proposed stadium and
basketball team are rumored to be "Goodman Stadium, Home of the Las
He has less than three months
remaining until he must turn himself in at Taft Federal Correctional
Facility, but in the meantime Rick Rizzolo is biding his time
squandering hundreds of thousands of dollars per week gambling in Strip
A young man recently told INSIDE VEGAS that he had the pleasure of
dating Rick Rizzolo's unique daughter Monica when she was single. He
described being invited to dinner at the Rizzolo Canyon Gate estate
where he said the Rizzolos acted like an ordinary family. After a
he said Rick and his wife Lisa invited everyone to the Hard Rock Hotel
where Rick immediately went to the tables and promptly lost over two
million dollars. The young man said the Rizzolo's seemed unfazed
by the loss and continued enjoying their evening without further
mention. However, Monica's date said the nonchalant way the incident
was treated by the Rizzolo family inspired him to find another
If Monica, 25, intends to visit her dad at Taft Prison, she'll need to know the dress
rules. Monica is featured on the A&E
hit show Inked, a program
that gets top ratings at state and
federal penitentiaries where tattoos are the ultimate status
symbol. Therefore, she's probably already well known and admired by the
inmates at Taft. So for Monica's information, here are the dress rules
for visiting a family member in a Federal Penitentiary as provided by
the U.S. Bureau of Prisons:
Rizzolo will be joined at Taft for
five months of his
twelve month sentence by his associate Vinny
who like most of
the Crazy Horse crew got off with a slap on the wrist from local
Judges who act like they don't want to bite the hand that feeds
them, or kill a goose who lays golden eggs in Strip casinos.
Faraci's excuse for a lighter sentence? He would lose custody of his
child (even though his ex-wife is now married to Rizzolo's lawyer Tony
Sgro who is the child's step father).
|Visiting is an
extremely important family function and dress
code requirements are necessary to maintain the dignity of those
dress is required and must be in good taste. Excessively provocative,
or revealing attire is reason to deny visiting. Visitors over the age
years old will not be allowed into the institution in skirts, shorts,
exceeding above the top of the kneecap in length. See-through clothing,
tops, tube tops, sleeveless shirts, tank tops, and any kind of clothing
reveal the midriff area of the anatomy, radically low-cut shirts or
revealing (front) and backless clothing are prohibited. No skin-tight
or spandex clothing is allowed. All visitors are required to wear
visitors are also required to wear undergarments, including bras for
visitors. - http://www.bop.gov/
David Chesnoff Jay Brown and Mike Signorelli
In Faraci's case, his judge, Kent
Dawson, was appointed by Nevada's U.S. Senator Harry Reid who is a
partner of Jay Brown, an attorney who works in the same 520 South Fourth Street law office as Faraci's lawyer David
who served with Oscar Goodman as a Resident
Agent for Rizzolo's corporation, is now representing the man who
claims to be buying the Crazy Horse Too.
Anywhere else in America, this
would be called a conflict of interest. In Vegas, it's business as
This April, the Las Vegas City Council will be faced with the decision
of whether to grant a permanent liquor license to Mike Signorelli, a
money but says he's buying the Crazy Horse for $45 million dollars.
Many believe Signorelli was placed as a front to represent the bar's
owners who refuse to give up control, and to stall the City Council and
Federal Court long enough for Rizzolo to get out of prison.
With the mob attorney-cum-Mayor of "Hip Hop City" calling the shots
from behind the scenes at City
Hall, and lawyers from his
law firm representing some of the players, it won't be a surprise
to anyone around here if the straw
man gets a permanent liquor license to run the Crazy Horse for the mob;
the new NBA stadium is built at
taxpayer expense and named after the Mayor; "Pacman" Jones doesn't have
to reveal the name of the shooter; and Monica Rizzolo receives an Emmy
for her performance on Inked.
Why not? This freak show is
the new Las
Copyright © Steve Miller
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