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Inside Las Vegas

Crazy Horse�given another ninety days, but can't pay off cabbies

Signorelli admitted he's not paying Rick Rizzolo rent

By Steve Miller,

Thursday, January 18, 2007

LAS VEGAS - The Las Vegas Council today granted Crazy Horse Too lessee Mike Signorelli an additional ninety day temporary liquor license pending the outcome of an investigation by the LV Metro Police Department.

Signorelli was represented by Mayor Oscar Goodman's business partner Jay Brown. Brown's sudden appearance on the scene proves my allegation that Goodman has been pulling the strings behind the scenes at�City Hall�since last June.

Also, based on my efforts, Goodman's subordinate Jim DiFiore, city Director of Business Activity, was not present at today's hearing which left Signorelli at a distinct disadvantage compared to previous hearings when DiFiore spoke in support the letting the Crazy Horse stay open.

On April 26, 2005, Mayor Goodman made a surprise visit to Steve's home.�There, Goodman gave excuses why he hadn't taken action against his law firm's former and present clients at the Crazy Horse Too.

On July 10, 2006, Steve filed an ethics complaint that forced Goodman to disclose that he once represented Crazy Horse owner Rick Rizzolo in a case where Rizzolo pleaded guilty to beating a bar patron with a baseball bat.�The patron�died three years later of his injuries. Prior to being elected, Goodman was�the Resident Agent for the Crazy Horse and criminal defense attorney for a number of Rizzolo's mob associates including Al Rapuano, a Crazy Horse manager.

Goodman's law firm, Goodman and Chesnoff, presently represents Vinny Faraci another Crazy Horse manager.

Based on Steve's ethics complaint, Goodman was forced to abstain at the Sept. 6 license revocation hearing thereby clearing the way for the rest of the City Council to shut down the Crazy Horse Too.

Now one of Goodman's City Hall subordinates is�using his�official position�to keep the place open.

photos: AmericanMafia photos by Mike Christ

Federal Court Judge Philip Pro ordered last June that the club be sold by June 2007, though Signorelli expressed doubt that he could fulfil that order. Signorelli admitted that he's not paying Rick Rizzolo rent, and that he may not be able to close the purported $45 million dollar purchase for several years.

He blamed his not paying rent on having to instead pay off cab drivers to bring patrons to his business, which is illegal.

The Council brought up the Federal Civil Racketeering lawsuit filed by Tommy Karas, saying that it is based on the allegation that Rizzolo squelched his purchase offer in favor of Signorelli, and alleges that Signorelli is a "straw man" who is not financially able now, or in the future to close a purchase deal.

Councilman Steve Ross remarked that Signorelli is "running this business outside the law" based on his admission of paying off taxi drivers $70 per customer delivered which is against state law.

Mayor Pro Tem Gary Reese emphasized that a liquor license is a privilege that must be exercised in the�moral best interest of the community.

Signorelli told the Council, "I've done this (paid off cabbies)�with the advice of a lot of other people who I asked if�I could do this. I won't mention their names. They said�I could."

He went on to say, "I might of bitten off more than�I could chew, but�I know�I can get the deal done. It's (the deal)�a small one compared to what�I did in the past, I think�I can close the deal in a couple of years."

He did not mention, nor was he asked about his two bankruptcies, or the class action lawsuit against him for alleging bilking his former Mesquite Star casino employees out of their health insurance premiums just before the casino went broke.

Councilman Larry Brown cautioned Signorelli that�"You are under the microscope. You're taking over this business in a vary precarious situation. You will be judged with very little comparison to what other operators are doing."

In regard to not paying Rizzolo rent, Signorelli tried to convince the Council that the�rent was modified to pay off the cabbies. This inspired an in depth discussion of the illegal practice, and a statement from attorney Jay Brown that his client understands that the city can take the temporary license at any time during investigation, and the continued paying off of cabbies could trigger this action.

Because�cabbies continue to be�paid off by all other adult businesses in Las Vegas, it is expected that the Crazy Horse if it discontinues paying such illegal bribes will be at a disadvantage, and will continue to not be able to pay Rizzolo rent for the duration of the second, and last allowed�extension of the temporary liquor license.

In the meantime, Rick Rizzolo will be sentenced at 9 AM on Tuesday, January 23. - SM

Copyright � Steve Miller

Canada Free Press, CFP Editor Judi McLeod