Gag Order may squelch
discussion of alleged
human trafficking of young
the purpose of prostitution
"Restraining Defendant GRASSO from intermeddling in Plaintiffs'
application process for a permanent liquor license"-
Judge Mark R. Denton
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
July 2, 2012
Ali and Hassan Davari
LAS VEGAS - In what may be a blatant violation
of the First Amendment and a breach of the prior restraint doctrine, on
Tuesday, June 26, Clark County District Judge Mark Denton approved attorney
Ross Goodman's motion for a temporary restraining order filed by troubled
strip club owners Ali and Hassan Davari against businessman Michael Grasso.
The TRO is essentially a GAG
ORDER to prevent Grasso from testifying before the Clark County Commission
in regard to a permanent liquor license application for the Davaris to
operate a second Las Vegas club called "Cover Girls" on the site of the
former "Jaguars" previously owned by Mike
Goodman told Judge Denton that he believes
Grasso is about to violate a confidentiality agreement at a liquor licensing
hearing that should take place within several weeks. Based on Goodman's
request, and in Michael Grasso's absence, Judge Denton issued the following
ORDER from his chambers:
Grasso was almost beaten to death on June
22, 2007 while visiting the Davari's Las Vegas Treasures Gentleman's Club.
He sued the business for not providing a safe atmosphere for patrons. According
to sources, Grasso received a confidential settlement of one million dollars
with the stipulation he not make "disparaging comments" against the Davaris
or their businesses for the rest of his life.
In March, 2012, Grasso became aware of
a lawsuit in Houston, Texas involving another of the Davari's clubs. Two
months later, Grasso found the following KHOU Channel 11 story along
with several newspaper articles about the Davari's Texas troubles.
City, county attorneys: Treasures strip club a haven for
by KHOU.com staff
May 16, 2012
HOUSTON The Harris County Attorney and the City of Houston filed a
lawsuit Wednesday to have a local strip club shut down.
The lawsuit alleges that the owners, management and employees of Treasures
located in the 5600 block of Westheimer knowingly tolerate drug activity,
organized crime and the human trafficking of young women for the purpose
The lawsuit further alleges that the club benefits financially from
its participation in illicit activities.
"The Houston Police Department has made numerous arrests for prostitution
and drugs," said Houston City Attorney David Feldman. "However, the evidence
of human trafficking makes this place especially abhorrent. Law enforcement
efforts alone have not stopped the habitual criminal activity occurring
"Law enforcement officers tell us that just arresting the criminals
doesn't solve the problem. When a place allows criminal acts to continue,
criminals keep coming back. You must take away the habitat to fix the problem,"
County Attorney Vince Ryan said.
Prosecutors said there have been more than five gang-related incidents
some involving prostitution and drugs at Treasures in the past year.
More than 30 crimes have occurred there over the past four years evidence,
the lawsuit alleges, that club owners and employees knowingly permit those
City and county officials want the club to be declared a public nuisance,
forcing it to close its doors.
© 2009-2012 KHOU-TV, Inc.
Additional stories about the Houston strip
Because the stories were published in mainstream
media, Grasso did not feel they qualified under the terms of his settlement
as "disparaging comments" made by him.
Feeling he had every right to disseminate
copyrighted news stories, Grasso contacted Clark County Commissioner Steve
Sysolac. Believing their conversation was confidential, Grasso reportedly
expressed his concerns about the advisability of letting the Davaris expand
their business in Vegas while allegedly being involved in serious crimes
in Texas. He also reportedly described his own experience at Treasures
in Las Vegas.
On June 14, a hearing was held in Grasso's
absence. Ross Goodman told Judge Denton that Commissioner Sysolac contacted
him following Grasso's phone call and divulged the content of their conversation.
Goodman asked for a TRO to prevent Grasso from talking to any more commissioners
or alerting Las Vegas media to the Houston stories in what Goodman described
as "intermeddling" in his client's application process for a permanent
Judge Denton agreed, and on June 26, issued
the order silencing Grasso.
Ross Goodman is the son of former Las Vegas
Mayor Oscar Goodman and current Mayor Carolyn Goodman, a family known for
their political clout.
Five years ago, Michael Grasso first learned
of Las Vegas' incestuous brand of justice: On the night of June
22, 2007, I got beaten. I was knocked unconscious. I was cut up badly.
It was a brutal attack. A guy bumped into me and even after I apologized
he cursed me out. Then I remember nothing but the clubs employees told
me they pulled four guys off me. They were over 6-feet and weighed over
200 pounds and said they were fighters and trainers. Apparently they'd
been thrown out of Treasures twice before but the club said they snuck
back in to reclaim their cell-phones.
sued Treasures and his assailants. His lawsuit ended up in the court of
then-Clark County District Judge Jackie Glass. Two of Grasso's assailants
were represented by criminal defense attorney Steve Wolfson who is Judge
Glass' husband and was then a member of the Las Vegas City Council.
While sitting in for another judge, Judge
Glass dismissed all charges against her husband's clients. Her action resulted
in a complaint
filed with the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline.
Judge Glass resigned from the bench soon
after learning of the Judicial Discipline complaint to become the host
of the ill-fated TV program "Swift Justice with Jackie Glass." The show
because of low ratings. Glass is planning to resume her Las Vegas law practice.
In January 2012, Steve Wolfson was elected to replace David Roger as Clark
County District Attorney. Roger also had generous
friends in the adult entertainment industry.
Oscar Goodman and Steve Wolfson
In April 2012, Jacqueline R. Holloway,
Director of the Clark County Department of Business License, granted the
Davaris a "Temporary" license to operate their new club. She did so without
a public hearing -- an unprecedented action for a topless bar.
Michael Grasso has moved out of the Las
At press time, a public hearing on the
Davari's permanent license application has not been scheduled but is expected
to be announced soon. Had Grasso not been silenced, he was expected to
attend the hearing to submit the Texas news articles without personal comment.
Inspired by the audacity of the gag order,
I took it upon myself to share the restrained news articles with
each member of the Clark County Commission and the Special Investigations
Unit of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department who are investigating
the Davari's suitability for another liquor license.
Based on my personal experience on a liquor
licensing board (the Las Vegas City Council), I fully expect the LVMPD
to issue "Areas of Concern" with the Davari's application and trigger a
public hearing so citizens other than Michael Grasso can express their
concerns and submit updated Texas news articles.
Houston's alleged human trafficking, drug
activity, and organized crime should not be politically allowed
to spill over into Las Vegas.
Another strip club beating
Thugs hire City Councilman
as their lawyer.
Mayor's lawyer-son hired
by strip club.
Police request prosecution,
refuses to cooperate --
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
May 11, 2009
District Judge Jackie Glass
Resigns In Middle
of Judicial Discipline Commission
Evidence indicates she squelched criminal
against defendants represented by her
then stopped a state probe of her actions
resigning from the bench and taking a
on CBS TV as judge on "Swift Justice"
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
May 30, 2011
(Editor's Note: This column has been distributed to all
members of the Clark County Commission, and investigators with the LVMPD
Special Investigations Section.)