The Company he Keeps
Las Vegas Tribune
May 8, 2002

District Attorney candidate David Roger was the recipient of a fundraiser at Piero's courtesy of Crazy Horse Too owner Rick Rizzolo. Rizzolo also kicked in more than $10,000 cash to jump-start Roger’s campaign at another gathering held at the topless bar mogul’s Canyon Gate home. Seen at the shindig lending financial support to Roger were the owners of most of the adult businesses in the valley.

The main problem for Roger is that his chief fundraiser is facing at least three court dates for alleged beatings, robberies, and a wrongful death along with his business being the subject of at least two Metro requests for prosecution by the DA’s office.

On May 24, 2001, police submitted a request for prosecution to the DA who obtained warrants for four of Rizzolo’s employees charged with robbery, battery and conspiracy to commit robbery and coercion in the case of Kenneth Kirkpatrick. To date, District Attorney Stewart Bell has not taken action.

On October 4, 2001, Metro asked the DA to prosecute yet-unnamed employees of the Crazy Horse for the Sept. 20, 2001, attempted murder of Kirk Henry. To date, the DA has not taken action on this case either.

Rizzolo claims to donate between $75,000 and $100,000 per year in political campaign contributions to candidates for judge, DA, and other positions, making him a bigger contributor than many Strip casinos. In addition to Roger’s candidacy, Stewart Bell is currently running for a seat on the District Court.

If David Roger is elected to succeed Bell as District Attorney, he will be the one to decide whether the employees of his biggest campaign contributor are prosecuted.  Though Mr. Rizzolo has told police that the men who were allegedly involved in the numerous beatings and robberies (one as recent as April 30) were not his employees, however, former bar employees have identified the alleged assailants as long-time bouncers who they say were paid “off the books.”

Rizzolo’s explanation sounds familiar. Recently the owners of outcall entertainment agencies claimed their employees were “independent agents,” therefore the owners claim they are not responsible for their actions.  Another candidate for District Attorney, Assistant DA Mike Davidson, is getting a lot of press for going after the outcall problem, but what about the two Metro requests for prosecution pending against Rizzolo’s apparently out of control bouncers?

When is someone at the DA’s office going to get to work on these cases? Or does that depend on who becomes our next DA?

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