| Home | Books and Gifts | Photo Album | Mob Busters | Mafia Site Search |
Inside Vegas - Steve Miller

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:

The judge who signed Rizzolo's Divorce Decree

"Defendant Lisa Rizzolo maintains that the divorce decree was not
collusive and was in accordance with considerations allowed by
Nevada state law regarding the division of marital property."
- Mark Bailus, attorney for Lisa Rizzolo, March 2, 2009

INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
March 16, 2009

LAS VEGAS - For over three and a half years, unpaid beating victim Kirk Henry has been inferring that Rick and Lisa Rizzolo's divorce was a collusive sham to allow the couple to hide their ill begotten assets from seizure by creditors.

If Rizzolo's divorce was a "sham" as asserted in a Las Vegas Sun Editorial, what kind of judge would have allowed Rick Rizzolo to transfer most of his criminally derived assets to his wife three weeks before he was to begin plea negotiations in a widely reported racketeering case involving his former topless night club, the Crazy Horse Too?

None other than the Honorable Steven E. Jones (left), a highly rated Clark County District Court Judge. And if a picture was ever worth a thousand words, this is it!

All you need do is take a quick look at the mug shot of the thug like person who presided over the Rizzolo's divorce to lose faith in the competence of our local family court system, and see just how possible it was for the couple to transfer and conceal their assets in a fraudulent manner!

The above mug shot courtesy of the Henderson, Nevada Police Department was taken in June 2006, a few hours after the esteemed jurist allegedly beat the crap out of his 34 year old girl friend.

Was this troubled judge's signing of the Rizzolo Divorce Decree an example of "honor among thieves?" Or can a judge wrought with personal demons be easily influenced?

Then, one month after his domestic violence arrest, a column in the LV Review-Journal revealed that in 2003, Judge Jones was accused of scamming a senior citizen out of $9,494.63 in unauthorized credit card charges.

According to Review-Journal columnist John L. Smith; "A sample of the expenditures from Jones' portion of a July 2003 American Express bill: $301.37 for a watch, $227.37 for men's clothing, $1,150 for Tommy Hilfiger jeans, and $127.63 for items marked 'spring seasonal' from Dillards-Henderson. The bill also included hundreds of dollars for groceries, hundreds more for clothing, and expenditures in Hawaii in excess of $4,300." (Judge Jones claims he's settled all outstanding debts with the card holder.)

One year before his domestic violence arrest, Judge Jones was "randomly assigned" to preside over the Rizzolo's pop-up divorce, and his stamped name appears on the FINAL DECREE.

In addition to Judge Jones, several other Clark County District Court judges have been accused of doing the Rizzolos favors. They were also "randomly assigned" cases in which Rizzolo was a party, and in each case assigned to these specific judges, he prevailed against strong odds. The questioned judges include former District Court Judge Nancy M. Saitta, and current District Judge Jackie Glass. (Saitta is currently a Nevada Supreme Court Justice.)

Judge Saitta gave jury instructions that ruined the Scott David Fau wrongful death lawsuit against the Rizzolo's business, and Judge Glass ruled that Kirk Henry could not locate or examine Lisa Rizzolo's personal assets even though Rick and Lisa were married at the time of Henry's beating.

In another case "randomly assigned" to Judge Glass, on January 13, 2009, she let Rick and Lisa's 26 year old son Dominic off with probation after he tried to stab a man to death during a December 2008 extortion attempt. The victim almost died of his injuries.

After the sentencing, she volunteered to reduce Dominic's felony to a gross misdemeanor if he stays out of trouble for the next two years. No one in open court made this request. Judge Glass made her generous offer without being asked by Dominic's criminal defense attorney.

Judges are selected to preside over local cases in a purportedly random manner. As each case is presented to the court clerk, it is supposed to be given to the next judge in chronological order. There are 19 District Court judges. Unfortunately, it's suspected that the court clerk sometimes sets aside special cases that certain judges desire, and waits until that judge's name is about to appear in numerical order, then pulls out the set-aside case to be assigned to that judge. In this way it's possible that all cases involving Rizzolo were coincidentally assigned to judges who look out for his best interests.

After learning the identify of the judge selected to preside over the Rizzolo's divorce, it became increasingly clear why the couple received everything they asked for from his court, and why Kirk Henry -- eight years following his beating and robbery -- is finding it almost impossible to collect the remaining nine million dollars he's owed after one of the Rizzolo's employees broke his neck and rendered him a quadriplegic for disputing a padded bar tab at their now defunct topless bar.

Based on a 77 page Response filed on Friday, March 13, 2009, the answers to this puzzle are starting to fall into place.

In the Response, lawyers for Lisa Rizzolo asked the United States Federal Court to keep Mr. Henry's attorneys away from their client's cleverly hidden assets -- and that her hasty divorce was a legitimate "parting of the ways" with no connection to Rick's plea bargaining that took place less than a month later.

Lisa's Response included as Evidence a copy of Judge Jones' signed FINAL DECREE as supposed proof of the divorce's legitimacy. This was presented as if Judge Steven Jones is a respected member of the local judiciary who would never have signed off on a fraudulent transfer of assets!

Lisa's attorneys repeated several times in their Response that Judge Jones' colleague, District Judge Jackie Glass (left), had ruled that Henry had no right to try to locate or examine Lisa's hidden fortune while the Crazy Horse was still for sale. Judge Glass neglected to mention that most potential buyers were either connected to Rizzolo, or were without funds. (The bar has been dark since July 1, 2007.)

Lisa's attorneys wrote in last week's Response that it's "premature" for Henry to know where her assets are, even though he suffered his injuries in October 2001 while she co-owned the club. Then five years later in 2006, Rick Rizzolo promised to pay Henry $10 million in exchange for a feather light prison sentence.

So far, with the help of Judges Jones and Glass, Henry hasn't received one cent from the couple's personal fortune, and Rick Rizzolo is out of prison and seen nightly squandering tens of thousands in cash at some of our town's most expensive venues.

In their Response, Lisa's attorneys disingenuously try to console the court by saying Rick Rizzolo already paid Henry $1 million. But they neglect to mention that the money came from the couple's Farmer's Insurance policy, not from their personal assets.

On March 17, Presiding United States Federal Judge Philip Pro will be asked to rule whether Federal Magistrate George Foley was correct on February 3, 2009, when he upheld the previous rulings of lower court Judges Jones and Glass who dutifully placed Lisa's assets off limits.

If Judge Pro agrees with Judges Jones, Glass, and Foley, then it's expected that his ruling will be challenged in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

I will let you know Judge Pro's ruling in an upcoming INSIDE VEGAS.

In the meantime, Judge Steven Jones remains on the bench and is one of our town's most respected jurists. His continuing status and that of Rizzolo's former mob lawyer, uber-popular Mayor Oscar Goodman, says a lot about our local quality of justice.

* If you would like to receive Steve's frequent E-Briefs about Las Vegas' scandals, click here: Steve Miller's Las Vegas E-Briefs

Copyright © Steve Miller

email Steve Miller at:
div. of PLR International

Copyright © 1998 - 2009 PLR International