Saturday, May 13, 2006


The map at left shows how all the players in the G-Sting scandal link together in a giant web. A lot of detail has been left out, but until you see the connections it is hard to believe that there is a systemic problem that goes far beyon titty bar bribery. Left click to get a higher resolution, then save and view in a better image viewer.


Who Orchestrates

Political Corruption In Las Vegas?

Recent headlines in Las Vegas about the so-called G-Sting scandal have promoted the theory that Michael Galardi, former owner of Cheetah's topless club, is at the center of bribery efforts which corrupted politicians Dario Herrera, Erin Kenny, Lance Malone, Michael MacDonald and Mary Kincaid. While Galardi has admitted bribery on a large scale, careful analysis shows that G-Sting was never central to political corruption in Las Vegas and is just a sideshow meant to distract attention from the kingpins who directed the big money bribery.

Indeed, there has been for many years a larger ongoing conspiracy by a triumvirate of political consultants as well as two central political figures which turned LasVegas politics into a lucrative payoff racket. Yet these insiders are presently positioned to escape unscathed from the G-Sting firestorm even though their actions clearly fall under the Racketeer Influenced andCorrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, Title 18, United States Code,Sections 1961-1968

As you trace through the stories of political corruption in Las Vegas, one finds disturbingly frequent threads to five central characters

  1. Kent Oram, OIZ Advertising : Political consultant to most of the characters involvedin the G-Sting scandal:
    • Erin Kenny
    • Lance Malone
    • Michael MacDonald
    • Mark James
    • Oscar Goodman
    • the sherifff's office and many others in law enforcement
  2. Sig Rogich, R&R Advertising and Rogich Communications Group: Involved in Treasures Strip Club, Republic Silver State corruption as their PR firm, close friend of Oram and backroom dealbroker.
  3. Billy Vassiliadis, R&RAdvertising: Partner to Rogich, friend of Oram, monopoly advertiser for Las Vegas Visitor and Convention Authority, political PRfirm
  4. Mayor Oscar Goodman: Well known mob lawyer, connected to political bribery in other states, connected to Oram and Paladin Advertising
  5. Senator Harry Reid: The Democratic minority leader in the senate and acknowledgedpolitical chess master, whose ties to the G-Sting scandal and many other corruptenterprises are little known.

While Michael Galardi is no doubt guilty of trying to bribe some politicians for business advantages for his topless bars (he has pled guilty to these charges), there is no evidence that he orchestrated widespread and continuous political corruption over a number of decades and regarding countless issues in the way the above characters have. Galardi had no incentive to bribe anyone on anything other than his topless business. However, it's clear Herrera, Kenny, Kincaid, James, MacDonald, Malone, Jan Jones and other politicians were being bribed not only by topless joints (including Treasures and CrazyHorse2 as well as Cheetahs), but also were taking under the counter money from developers like Jim Rhodes and Triple Five, and money from the trash hauler Republic Silver State. Galardi's sins were the promotion of a ten million dollar topless business, while the land developers and trash haulers represented billions of dollars of motivation. Moreover, the tale of political bribery by Las Vegas power brokers extends well beyond Las Vegas and San Diego to Kansas City and New Jersey.

If Galardi was only a bit player among many, one has to either assume that

1) each of the above tainted politicians (none of whom were ever known as bright bulbs) decided independently to take bribes from the same recurring sources all on their own initiative,


2) neophyte Lance Malone, former policeman and County Commissioner (hired as a lobbyist by Galardi), figured out on his own how to corrupt multiple politicians in Vegas and San Diego with little previous background in "the game" and no pre-preparation of the political turf.


3) that the political corruption was directed by some central organizing force, a conspiracy by the real powerbrokers who run Las Vegas, who were and still are after billion dollar deals and not penny ante titty bar ordinances.

As one researches the last four decades of events, uncoordinated corruption of Las Vegas politicians becomes completely unbelievable. The fall guy for the corruption has come to be Galardi's middleman Lance Malone, but one would have to be incredibly naive to believe a former COP turned councilman like Malone could have set in motion all the bribery that occurred without some major players having plowed the fields of corruption long before him. To believe Herrera, Kincaid, McDonald, Kenny and others suddenly decided it was safe to take bribes without there having long been a climate of such activity is to believe in the tooth fairy.

However, if dim-bulb Malone wasn't the major organizer, and Galardi wasn't much of a kingpin (being preoccupied with his titty bars and not land deals), and the local politicians were too stupid to know how to tie their shoes much less coordinate large bribes, one is left with a much greater problem. Bluntly, one must conclude a core of political consultants coordinated the large scale long term corruption, meaning this larger conspiracy falls more under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act than small town crime.

In this scenario, Michael Galardi, Lance Malone, as well as perhaps some of the politicians, become pawns in a larger chess game played by Machiavellian masters of deception.

If Galardi and G-Sting wasn't the focal point of bribery, but a sideshow to Oram, Vasilliades, Rogich, Goodman and Reid, are there other cases which go beyond the realm of titty bar protection to major political corruption? Easy enough, here's a short list of some of the other games played by the Vegas Power elite, both in town and around the nation:

  1. Republic Silver State Disposal - benefited with a $3 billion 15 year monopoly contract. Republic contributed heavily to most of the politicians caught up in the corruption charges. Their political manipulations first worked to to drive other competitors out of business (see US Enviromed) and finally to secure their monopoly status.
  2. e-Ventures - Mayor Oscar Goodman was part of what can only be concluded was the bribery of Sen. Torrecelli of N.J. Senator Torrecelli's $5000 investment in e-Ventures online gambling startup quickly became $200,000. e-Ventures was run by Goodman and a corrupt programmer who IN 1985 had been involved in a $25 million Bank irregularity, and this was likely a prototype for money laundering from Belize. Torrecelli left office after multiple instances of bribery were uncovered.
  3. The Capitol Queen - The Beckers, formerly owners of Arizona Charlie's and business partners with Kent Oram, were attempting to start a riverboat gambling venture called the Capitol Queen in Jefferson City Missouri. Missouri Speaker of the House Bob Griffin ended up spending jail time on a variety of bribery charges. Griffin's consulting group was tied with Oscar Goodman and stood to benefit $6 million if the riverboat deal went through. The Capitol Queen deal collapsed because Missouri Gaming uncovered these details and the fact Goodman had represented mob boss Nicky Civella in Kansas City.
  4. Developer Jim Rhodes, who stood to gain millions through zoning near Red Rock, benefited a number of politicians with homes (Erin Kenny, Mark James, Harry Reid), and employed James as a lawyer. Kenny was hired by Rhodes immediately after her failed run for lieutenant governor. Mark James was not only on Rhodes' payroll, but that of Republic Silver Stateas well.
  5. Triple 5 developer, put $200,000 into a slush fund for Erin Kenny.
  6. Cheetah's Topless Club - Mike Galardi has admitted to paying money to Erin Kenny, Dario Herrera, Mary Kincaid Chauncey and Lance Malone to influence rules regardinG lapdancers and zoning.
  7. Treasures Topless Club - connected to Sig Rogich, Michael Mack and the creation of a church to prevent it's operation.
  8. Crazy Horse 2 Topless Club - Run by Rizzolo, with ties to Goodman, Joey Cusumano and the mob. Rizzolo has financed numerous campaigns, contributing not only to former mayor Jan Jones, but many councilmen and judges. To believe Rizzolo was not part of the system of bribery is absurd.
  9. Payoffs at McCarran airport, some involving Sharyn Brown (wife of Jay Brown, former partner of Goodman) for a coffe house franchise that involved Commissioner Yvonne Atkinson Gates, who coincidentally was being lobbied by Jay Brown at Galardi's request.
  10. Sweetheart land deals with county land. Airport land was sold mostly to Scott Gragson, son of the former mayor. Much more went on behind the scenes than is currently in the news.
  11. Harry Reid's connections through lawyer Jay Brown to Goodman, developer Rhodes, Indian gaming, development land near Searchlight Nevada - a web of connections to crime and bribery and land deals with county land. Reid has kept a very strange group of friends if he wishes to retain his holier-than-thou POLITICAL image.

It would take a book to detail all that has happened, and that manuscript is in the works. The current trial of Herrera and Kincaid however has made clear that larger fish need to be held accountable, thus the need to put things in a more global context with this document. The object here is not to provide definitive proof of corruption on any one issue (that's the job of the FBI and law enforcement), but to show that there is a web of corruption in Las Vegas going far beyond Galardi and driven by a focal group of characters who have acted for decades.

So, G-Sting and the Galardi story is merely a diversion slowing the exposure of a larger premeditated organized network of corruption. In fact, because of the incestuous ties of the FBI, the police department and the media to the inside players and politicians who have escaped the tempest, one can argue G-Sting is actually being used as a firewall to save a number of people from prosecution. In this scenarion, Dario Herrera, Erin Kenny, Mary Kincaid, Lance Malone and others are the sacrificial lambs being thrown into the fire to stop the big boys from taking the heat. While this sounds at first unbelievable, there is an extensive amount of documentation that will be presented that shows links far beyond the petty political grifters all the way to the mafia.

Most notable of those being shielded are Senator Hary Reid, Kent Oram (OIZ Advertising), Oscar Goodman (mayor of Las Vegas and mob lawyer), and the political pawn Mark James (former state senator, lawyer who worked with Oram, Republic Silver State, and Rhodes), none of whom have taken any heat for misdeeds which far exceed those of Michael Galardi. Galardi's corruption is million dollar stuff, the big boys are involved with land deals and service contracts worth billions.

The reason these four are being so transparently shielded and tipped off is because if they crumble, ever larger circles of corruption will also be revealed. Unlike Galardi, these other layers have had their hands in multiple political scams, but as professional grifters they weren't stupid enough to use the phones and allow themselves to be wire tapped (they'd already gone through that fire drill back in the 70's and 80's, notably with the wiretaps of Tony Spilotro). While the big players don't leave billboards pointing to their corrupt acts like Galardi's amateurs did, they do leave a paper trail in the newspapers and public records which allows us to reconstruct how they manipulate Las Vegas politics for large sums of money. The only way to break the Gordian Knot of interlocking corruption is a global document such as this tying together the known facts. Heaven only knows what else has gone on that never hit the papers.


Of course,everyone knows Oscar Goodman was the mobs lawyer before he achievedhis current laundered position as mayor of Las Vegas. Since theearly 80's, Goodman's clients included Meyer Lansky; Nick Scarfo;Natale Richichi; Charles Panarella; Philip Leonetti; Jamiel Chagra;Frank Rosenthal; Allen Glick; "Tough Tony" Spilotro, withwhom he developed a special friendship; and the Civella crime family:brothers Nick and Carl "Cork"; Carl's son, Anthony "TonyRipe"; and Carl "Tuffy" DeLuna.

Apparently LasVegas has forgotten the addage, when you sleep with dogs, you wake upwith fleas. We've already shown Goodman had his fingers in theArizona Charlies/Capitol Queen fiasco and bribery which lead to thedownfall of Missouri Senate Speaker Bob Griffin, but has Oscar beeninvolved in other bribery schemes?

Inan article from Rick Pornello's August2002

Senator Robert Torricelli And The Mafia

According to aNewark Star-Ledger report, Senator Torricelli received a paper profitof $220,000 on an investment of only $5,000 in a 1998 initialinvestment in the Internet Telecommunications firm e.Volve TechnologyGroup. The value of this stock skyrocketed once the company wasacquired by eVentures Group, an Internet holding company. Among themain figures in eVentures Group were Kerry Rogers, who was convictedin 1985 for his participation in a $20 million bank fraud case in NewJersey, and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman. Before being elected asMayor of Las Vegas, criminal lawyer Oscar Goodman served for over 30years as the "mouthpiece of the Mob," representing Mafiafigures including Tony "The Ant" Spilotro, Meyer Lansky,Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal, and Philadelphia Underboss PhilLeonetti. Goodman has flaunted his Mafia associations and portrayedhimself in the Mafia epic movie "CASINO."

ApparentlyGoodman wasn't above bribing a Senator, much less associating with aknown bank fraud huckster. Reading between the lines, one cansurmise that eVentures was really setting up money laundering out ofBelize and needed support from Torricelli in the Senate. Nevermindthe details, we have Goodman again associated with a bribery schemewith known felons (Rogers and Toricelli). From the Newark Star edgerwe learn:

Torricelliadmits he changed mind on stock pledge


Among the keyfigures at The eVentures Group include Kerry Rogers, an individual

convicted inNew Jeersey of bank fraud in 1985 and now a controversial figurepioneering Internet gambling that has drawn the attention ofprosecutors and Congress. Other investors include Karl Lovell, aformer Las Vegas city attorney once charged with securities lawviolations, and Oscar Goodman, the current mayor of Las Vegas

The rest of theabove article details Toricelli's many Mafia connections and thebribery it engendered. Especially relevant is how the mobbed up NewJersey waste disposal people were involved in a way similar to whathappened in Las Vegas with Republic Silver State disposal. It is afun exercise to go through the campaign records to see who was therecipient of Republic contributions, politicians like Goodman, Kenny,Herrera, James make especially interesting reading.

Given all the mafia connections and at least the Missouri and New Jersey implications of bribery, how in theworld did Goodman become mayor? He obviously needed help, the arena was crowded withcompetitive candidates Jay Bingham, former mayor Jan Jones, and others. WasGoodman's entry all a last minute fluke? Or Machiavellian insidedeal? You decide.

Wednesday,January 13, 1999
Copyright © Las VegasReview-Journal

COLUMN: Jon Ralston

Why does this sound familiar?

Binghamdecided to enter the race after encouragement from Guinnites, such asspinmeister Sig Rogich and the governor's southern campaigncoordinator, Terry Murphy. Veteran consultant Kent Oram, part of theGuinn machine, and Steve Wark, the governor's grass-roots maven, willbe there, too.
This is hardlycoincidental. Whether or not Jones has worn out her welcome after twoterms, the mayor's no-holds barred cannonades directed Guinn's waywere not forgotten by him or some of his friends. Said one developerfamiliar with the attitude of some of the Guinnites: "There arepeople who want to bury her, not just beat her."

Although Oram is involved, nothing appears sinister here. But please note, Oram's offices at 2290 S. Jones are in FalconPark, which just so happens IS the same building tenanted by FalconConstruction Services I, 2290 S Jones Blvd Bldg. Falcon Construction Services is part owned by Jay Bingham, who kept offices in the office park in the same building as Oram.

Bingham hadlocked up most of the top political consultants and grassrootssupport. A popular leader before his retirement from the commissionin '96, Bingham longed to get back into political life. A successfulland developer, he missed the excitement of politics and wanted toget back into the action.

He announced his candidacy even before Mayor Jones decided towithdraw, forcing her hand and eventually compelling her to make adecision to leave office or face another potentially tough campaign.Early polls showed Bingham with respectable name identification andhigh favorables. He ran a double-truck newspaper advertisement twoweeks before the close of filing announcing his candidacy withtestimonials from prominent Las Vegans.

Only three other candidates with any public recognition joinedBingham on the ballot: Councilman Arnie Adamsen, developer Mark Fineand Goodman. All were immediately considered underdogs. Fine andGoodman had nothing even resembling a campaign in place when theyfiled. Goodman had waited until the last day of filing before jumpingin.

Then, two days after candidate filing closed, Bingham dropped abombshell. With the race all but won before it even began, heannounced he was dropping out due to health reasons. An old heartproblem had recurred and his doctor had advised him that the stressof a campaign could prove fatal.

Amazingly,Oscar Goodman had filed for his candidacy only a day beforeregistration ended. Where have we seen these kinds of tacticsbefore? Oh, that's right, they are the same as with the amazingentry of Mark James into the Commissioner's race for District F notthree years later. Oram obviously tipped Goodman that his good buddyBingham was going to withdraw, the only question is whether Goodman'sentry was forced on Bingham because of the needs of Republic SilverState and the needs of Crazy Horse 2 zoning problems, or whether thiswas just the easy path. Nevertheless, there are so many intersectinglines here that one has to wonder.


WhatOram learned to do long ago was to firewall his operations from assault, that's why he has links to the police, to key politicians to protect him and when there is political dirty work to be done, he often allows others to be at the front. And that's what Paladin Advertising does for Oram, serves as a front for things like last minute unsigned mailers and other skulduggery. How interlocked are OIZ and Paladin Advertising? It's hard to tell on a business level since Paladin's owners Mike Sullivan and Jim Ferrence do act independently from OIZ on accounts. But since both Paladin and OIZshare the exact same office suite, 2290 S. Jones, any difference between the two is academic (there are intimations that Oram may have some ownership interest).


Notsurprisingly, Oscar Goodman's campaign managers for for his critical novice mayoral racein 1999 was Paladin Advertising with consulting from Kent Oram

But Paladin has not only been involved in the shady Goodman orbit. For example"

Las Vegas Sun, December 08, 2003 CCSN report alleges political favors

....The report also looked at Cummings' expenses during the legislative session and his role in awarding CCSN's advertising contract, reportedly of $750,000, to Paladin Advertising. Cummings worked at Paladin before being hired in 2000 by CCSN.

But the affair at CCSN was a sideshow to Paladin's other incidents, apparently whenever Oram neededplausible deniability.

Agood example of this was Steve Miller's campaign against Oram's client Michael MacDonald. Michael Galardi in his April 6, 2006 testimony in the trial of Dario Herrera and Chauncey-Kincaid stated that he had delivered payoffs to MacDonald for a number of years. Steve Miller's primary campaign was disrupted at the last minute by a disgusting insinuation that he had used handicapped people to run his campaign. From the Sept 23 1999 Review Journal:

Republican club drops councilman from civil lawsuit

A Republican fund-raising club that sued Las Vegas Councilman Michael McDonald for defamation has dismissed him from the civil lawsuit saying evidence against him was lacking.
The Big Elephant Club and its founder, George Harris, sued McDonald and others in July. On Sept. 15, the councilman was dropped from the District Court case.
McDonald's attorney, Louis Palazzo, said there had been a failure to showMcDonald had anything to do with a controversial last-minute political advertisement mailed last spring against McDonald's chief political rival, former Councilman Steve Miller. . . . .
There are two lawsuits pending in Clark County District Court pertaining to the mailer criticizing Miller.
Miller has sued the Big Elephant Club, which was identified in the mailer as the group that paid for the mailer.
But Harris said he and his club had nothing to do with it and he sued the councilman, as well as James Tucker, owner of Passkey Systems, which mailed the piece; Larry Scheffler, owner of Las Vegas Color Graphics Inc., which printed the brochure; and Mike Sullivan, owner of Paladin Advertising Inc., which designed it.
The men and their businesses are being sued for damages for defamation, misrepresentation, invasion of right to privacy, and misappropriation of the Big Elephant Club's name.
The political ad landed in 21,500 Ward 1 mail boxes just before the May 4 primary and when the election was over, McDonald won with 63 percent of the vote, a large enough margin that he won outright without having to undergo the rigors of a general election in June.
McDonald's name was found on an invoice identifying Paladin as the company that paid for the mailer.
The sentence where Miller claimshe was defamed reads: "Steve Miller even became the first personever removed from the Opportunity Village Board of Directors. Millerwas found to be exploiting the handicapped to advance his campaign."He resigned from the board after starting his council campaign.
Both Harris and McDonald haveinsisted they had nothing to do with it.
Charles Bennion, the attorney for Harris and the club, said findingMcDonald's name on the invoice was sufficient to file a lawsuit, butafter realizing Paladin Adverting paid for it, he thought it wasappropriate to dismiss the case against McDonald.
"We've always felt Paladin was at the center of this."
Paladin's president contends thepiece was ordered by a member of the Big Elephant Club and thatprinter Steve Westmoreland told him to identify the mailer as beingsent by the club. Westmoreland denies that.

Michael McDonald was Kent Oram's client, but MacDonald's name was found on the invoice that Paladin Advertising paid for. Mike Sullivan at Paladin Advertising had designed the mailer, and then sent it care of the Big Elephant Club. Typical dishonest, low, dirty tricks from the Oram camp showing they would stoop to anything. Of course, why would they go to any means to defeat Steve Miller in a race for a low paid Commissioner's race? Steve Miller knew why, as revealed in a Friday, October 08, 1999 Review Journal Article:

Votespurs foe to seek ethics ruling

FormerCity Councilman Steve Miller asked the state Ethics Commission onThursday for an opinion on Councilman Michael McDonald's July vote togrant a garbage company an exclusive 15-year contract extension.

McDonalddates Jennifer Simich, who does government affairs work for Republic.He is a close friend of both the company's president, Steve Kalish,and its general counsel, former Henderson Mayor Robert Groesbeck, whopleaded guilty in September to charges of disorderly conduct andresisting arrest for his drunken behavior Sept. 3 at Mandalay Bay'sFoundation Room.

McDonalddid not disclose the relationships before the vote. He also did notreveal that Republic and its related entities donated $36,800 to hisspring re-election campaign, which made the company his largestcontributor.

Thecontract was approved 3-0, with Mayor Oscar Goodman and CouncilmanLarry Brown abstaining.

Oram'sclient was obviously goosed in because of theRepublic Silver State vote. And innocent little Goodman, who hadjust received $15000 in donations to his mayoral campaign fromRepublic, didn't even need to vote because there were already threelined up.

Thiswasn't the last time Paladin Advertising struck using dirty tacticsto help MacDonald. MacDonald was beaten in 2002 by Janet Moncrief,who was then subjected to police harassment as part of a pettypayback vendetta using insiders in the police department. AfterMoncrief beat Michael McDonald (Oram's candidate), a dispatcher namedCynthia Thomas from the police department attempted to set Moncriefup by claiming she was drunk driving. Ms. Thomas' husband was aformer police colleague of McDonald's and had worked on hisre-election campaign, implicating OIZ and Paladin. While Moncriefapparently had her own ethical lapses, we'll revisit this issue laterin the section on police department involvement.

Sofar, we have just been presenting isolated events, so the question iswhether we can begin to tie some of the actors together in a largerconspiracy, one that doesn't involve Michael Galardi and G-Sting. Most interesting is a Sunday, October 31, 1999article in the Review Journal that ties together many of the partnersin crime:

Thepolitical wake at Paul Christensen's house on Election Night '96would have had to cheer up to be mournful.

HisCounty Commission colleague, Erin Kenny, was lachrymose -- she hadpoured her soul into saving her friend's seat. Campaign consultantKent Oram was bellicose -- he would return in four years to teachChristensen-killer Lance Malone a lesson. And Paladin Agencyprincipals Mike Sullivan and Jim Ferrence were morose -- they madetheir money but they were on the losing side. . . I wonder if anyof those folks thought about that evening this week as some of themgathered in Oram's office for a meeting of the 2000 campaign team for... Lance Malone. The meeting would have been impossible had Kennynot put Malone together with Oram about a year ago in his South Jonesoffice, near where the Paladin boys -- who were eventually broughtonto Team Malone, too -- also work.

So,it wasn't Michael Galardi who connected the littlerat's nest of MacDonald, Kenny, Malone, James and Goodman together, butKenny through her good friends Oram and Paladin Advertising workingout of their offices at 2290 S. Jones. And this leaves us the big question: Why has Oram and Paladin never been brought into the investigations? Oram was no doubt caught multiple times on the wiretaps, so either he is

1) as clean as the driven snow

2) turned state's evidence after having been tipped off by George Knapp and Sheriff Young

3) the beneficiary of investigative incompetence.


Having established that the G-Sting scandal is a secondary event, it's instructive to skip back a few years to 1994 hen the local casino Arizona Charlie's, then owned by the Becker family, attempted to expand operations with a riverboat gambling venue in Jefferson City Missouri. The deal failed, but not without being touched by our corruption maestros Kent Oram and Oscar Goodman.

The public relations firm for Arizona Charlies was of course none other than OIZ Advertising headed by Kent Oram, and the Beckers were long term personal friends. The Beckers were also investors in 1993 in TV39 Telemundo along with Oram, so the ties are well established. Oscar Goodman comes into the picture because of his close ties to Kansas City (namely through Nicky Civella, a mafia figure Goodman represented there, and other Civella relatives famously involved in skimming at the Tropicana in the 80's). Of course, what do upstanding citizens like the Beckers need when trying to do a riverboat gaming venture but some legislators to bribe to grease the skids, and someone to “consult” for them in making it happen.

Mother Jones magazine put what happened next this way in an article in June 9, 1997 :

With lotteries, bingo, pari-mutuel betting, and riverboat casinos operating under local jurisdiction on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, Missouri has gone for gambling whole hog. Riverboat gambling became legal in November 1994 when voters approved Amendment 6 to the state Constitution. That same year the Kansas City Star started digging into gambling dirt and soon found that two casino companies had promised $22 million -- including part ownership in one of the casinos -- to a group of unregistered lobbyists, all closely aligned with former Speaker of the Senate Bob Griffin, payable only when the casinos were licensed and open. As a result of this reporting, all the deals fell through and the speaker was forced to resign; the participants are now awaiting a jury's decision on charges of bribery, racketeering, and fraud..

Well, one of the gaming entities was of course Arizona Charlies, but who was the bagman for the money? The Review Journal fills in some details in Tuesday, November 18, 1997 :

Arizona Charlie's plans recovery

The company's problems began after Missouri regulators denied the Las Vegas casino operator a license for a planned riverboat at Jefferson City, the state capital.

Further, Missouri gaming regulators didn't seem inclined to approve a license even after a Missouri court ordered them to reconsider.

The company reported $63 million in assets and about $77 million in liabilities, including bonds sold to finance the Capitol Queen &Casino riverboat and an expansion of Arizona Charlie's. The company has completed the expansion of its casino on Decatur Boulevard in Las Vegas but has been unable to sell the gambling boat in Missouri, Becker said.

It has paid half of the $40 million in bonds obtained for the riverboat, Becker said.

Missouri regulators required applicants to build a boat, obtain financing and secure a site before approving licenses, Becker said.

The Missouri Gaming Commission rejected Becker Gaming's license application. The state regulators claimed Becker failed to disclose a promise to pay $6 million to a group of lobbyists and lawyers. The group included Las Vegas attorneys Oscar Goodman and David Chesnoff, as well as Kansas City, Mo., lawyer Byron Fox, all of whom have represented alleged organized crime figures.

Of course, who would have seen the need for juiced political connections in Missouri better than Oram, though this isn't in the records. And what better guy to juice things than Oscar Goodman, lawyer to the Civella crime family. Some more details from the Sept 29 1994 St. Louis Post Dispatch:

The Gaming Commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to reject an application to operate a riverboat casino in Jefferson City because the applicant had failed to disclose plans to pay $6 million to those who helped in the application process.

The commission agreed with its staff recommendation that Becker Gaming Group Inc. of Las Vegas had deliberately concealed its agreement to give a Kansas City lawyer 20 percent of its Missouri operation if Becker got a state license.

And this Published on May 4, 1996, Page C3, The Kansas City Star

Source: JOE STEPHENS Staff Writer
The Missouri Gaming Commission was right when it threw Becker Gaming out of the state, the state appeals court has ruled. The court said the commission followed proper procedure when it banned the Las Vegas company, even though the commission did not first make an exhaustive investigation. What the commission already knew, the court said, was bad enough. The ruling overturned a decision last year by Cole County Circuit Judge Byron Kinder, . . .

So, what we have established is a connection between Goodman and Oram, and a pattern of political bribery that starts in 1994 well before G-Sting. This pattern hardly stops here, nor did it start here, there just isn't time to go into Goodman and the mob and Orams earlier conquests. So, are there other ties between Oram and Goodman and political corruption?


Mark James is in fact a prime example of the corruption going on behind the scenes. In 1993 he partnered in founding the Law Firm ofJames, Driggs, Walch, Santoro & Thompson. Driggs became the primary lawyer in a television station (TV39) purchased by a consortium including Oram and notably the Beckers of Arizona Charlies (this Becker/Oram connection will become important later). Among the clients of the James, Driggs, et. al. law firm are also Rhodes Homes (later accused of bribing Erin Kenny), and Republic Silver State Disposal (who James oversaw as a State Senator on the Natural Resources Committee, and received donations from –) a clear conflict of interest.

Here's where the Machiavellian machinations of Kent Oram become apparent. Five weeks before the District F filing date ends in 2002, Mark Jamesmoves to a Spanish Hills rental while a house is built for his family in the commission district. [likely a Rhodes home, but not confirmed]. The home is in Erin Kenny's district. Kenny was supposedly running for re-election to the commission, but 30 minutes before the May 20 5 p.m. filing deadline, she announces she is instead running for lieutenant governor. Coincidentally at the ready, James steps in that last half-hour to fill Kenny's spot on the ballot. Sen. Mark James immediately resigns from the Legislature and sends a certified letter to Gov. Kenny Guinn on Monday, May 20, 2002 making his resignation official. Rumor long had it that Kenny had been hired by Rhodes to facilitate the Blue Diamond Hill purchase. Of course, James was also involved with Rhodes as a legal representative, so what appears to have happened is that Rhodes needed a patsy on the commission and since Kenny was trying to move up to lieutenant governor, they needed a quick replacement.

Of course, who was James' campaign manager and Erin Kenny's former campaign manager/great friend but Kent Oram. Earlier, in October 2001 in an interview, Kenny said about her potential run for the governorship that the fact Kenny Guinn had Oram working for him played a role in her decision. "Kent is more than just a consultant, he's a close friend, so obviously it plays a significant role." So, what this establishes is an incredible growing tumor of incestuous relationships between Oram, James, Kenny, Rhodes, Republic Silver State, and a list of others who saw elected office as a piggy bank.

Even more interesting is what Oram had to do next to anoint James to the payola commissioner seat. Unexpected competition in the Republicanprimary came from well respected lawyer Tim Cory, who with a clean campaign and Mormon support looked ready to bump Mark James out of the position. Four hundred Democrats in the Culinary Union suddenly switched to Republican before the Aug. 3 registration deadline and voted for former state senator James, sending bankruptcy attorney Tim Cory to defeat by 227 votes in the GOP primary. Of course, why would the Culinary Union care one whit about a Republican primary? Obviously there was a substantial payoff involved somewhere to move that many votes. Sadly, while the FBI can go after gullible amateur Galardi, they seem unable to connect the dots on the much larger pink elephant of across the board corruption involving Oram, his other political cronies, and fat cats like the land developers and Republic Silver State who together make the Galardi deals look like chump change.

Yet, even here we haven't done justice to the possible levels of corruption, because the one person who seems to have been orchestrating the musical chairs of Dario Herrera to Congress, Rory Reid to commissioner, Erin Kenny to Lt. Governor, and Mark James to commissioner, could have been none other than Senator Harry Reid. So, Reid must have implicitly been involved in talks with Oram about these moves, which we know were calculated because James had to physically change residence months before. Now, Herrera and Kenny have either been convicted or admitted to bribery, and James history is completely tainted, so the fact none of this mud has stuck to Oram or Reid is just damningly suspicious.

The George Knapp, and Mark James stories show that the G-Sting scandal is but the tip of a much larger iceberg, much of which we hope to outline in the following pages. The difficulty in describing this landscape is that the web is so involved that merely listing events chronologically doesn't do justice to the underlying racketeering structure. But now that we have shown the reader that there is at least one central focal core in Kent Oram, and that there is a coverup underway abetted by leaks via the media and police to protect central figures, the reader should be mentally prepared to open Pandora's box and see what else is rolling around inside,


While there are many branches to the Las Vegas network of bribery and influence, it is clear from the publicly available data that Kent Oram is an eye of the storm and and provides a good point from which to start the story because everything else ripples outward. Other focal points revolve around Oscar Goodman, R & R Advertising (Billy Vasilliades and Sig Rogich) and finally "Mr. Cleanface" Harry Reid. To keep track of the whole ant farm of corruption, one needs a map of the players.

The accompanying chart clarifies the links in the G-Sting scandal, but more importantly it shows G-Sting is just a small part of a larger web of political corruption. The chart shows Oram is immediately connected to three of the indicted former Commissioners (he was campaign consultant to Erin Kenny, Michael McDonald and Lance Malone). It also shows a link to Mark James, who we'll see should have been indicted but as a lawyer is somewhat smarter and heard footsteps. But the web goes much beyond this and shows Oram's involvement in other political buyoffs done through the police department, police unions, a subsidiary public relations company called Paladin Advertising, through the Culinary Union, through Oscar Goodman, all the way to Harry Reid and other entities to influence elections and threaten opponents. The picture painted by this research is of a corrupt Las Vegas political culture centered around Oram, Rogich, Goodman, Vasilliades and Reid who have on their whim compromised politicians, the police, developers, unions, topless bars, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority and made Southern Nevada a shady shakedown enterprise.


Oram got his start in Las Vegas as a campaign manager for the notorious Sheriff Ralph Lamb, who was rumored to take undesirables out into the desert for beatings. Oram may also have been involved with Floyd Lamb (Ralph's brother), until Floyd got caught taking a bribe in the Yobo sting run by FBI agent Yablonski in 1983. Rather than being a fluke, it becomes apparent that Oram is a magnet for corrupt politicians. His longevity and ability to avoid responsibility for any side effects of his dirty dealing in part stems from is ability to link himself to the police department, either running or being tied to the campaigns of Ralph Lamb, John Moran, Jerry Keller and the current Sheriff Bill Young. Other ties to other power brokers like former Governor Miller (ran campaign), current Attorney General Brian Sandoval, and Kenny Guinn (helped campaign run by Billy Vasilliades) means Oram can almost always triangulate an escape route because he knows where the skeletons are buried.

In the early 1990's, Oram did political consulting for the American Nuclear Energy Council on Yucca Mountain (ANEC). Oram got that contract because he had run Governor Miller's campaign in 1990 and it was thought Oram could juice the Yucca Mountain deal with Miller. Oram is big on competitive pistol shooting, in part because it allows him to keep close ties with the police department. Rumor has it at the Nevada Nuclear Waste Project Office that Oram's police connections were used to build a dossier on one Steve Frishman, an opposing technical consultant for NWPO. This pattern of using insider police information for political purpose is a long running thread in these events, and will becovered many more time in this expose. Police ties also likely explains the connections to former policemen/commissioners Lance Malone and Michael MacDonald, as well as events like the release of Janet Moncrief's DUI record.

As part of the Yucca Mountain opposition research, a media response team headed by another longtime political consultant, Don Williams, was put in place to deal with local reporters as friendly peers. Williams,was hired because he had been a campaign consultant for Rep, Jim Bilbray D-Nev. and for Harry Reid's ill fated 1974 campaign against Bob Laxalt, and was expected to convince Reid of the nuclear industry's position. Don William's history included working for Circus Circus, the Culinary Union, and by his own stories he dealt with various mob elements. He has told colleagues in the past that Steve Wynn had a hit put out against him regarding Williams' position on a monorail that would have affected Wynn's gaming properties, and has described Wynn as a product of the Buffalo mob. But William's connections to Reid are most important here because they are one more little thread linking the Senator to the greater G-Sting situation (i.e., Reid is no naive waif in Nevada politics, he knows as well as anyone where the political bones are buried).

Don Williams in turn hired KLAS Channel 8 news anchors George Knapp and Brian Gresh with ANEC money to act as spokespersons.

At a May 1992 nuclear utility conference in Washington, Knapp acknowledged that part of his job was to compile "dossiers" on key Yucca Mountain opponents, so Knapp knows about Oram's underhanded use of police contacts. While Knapp was nominally hired by Don Williams, Williams reported to Oram who ran the Yucca Mountain campaign, so Knapp is no innocent in regards to the dirty inside of political consulting. Knapp continued his ties with Oram, contributing to county commissioner Don Schlesinger's defeat in 1994 to none other than Erin Kenny (the most easily bribed of those in the G-Sting scandal). Oram was the political consultant for Erin Kenny, but he made use of Knapp (who was allowed to work at the KLAS station while still on the nuclear industry and Oram's payroll) who aired inflammatory stories about Schlesinger.

George Knapp - shock shock - is also the reporter who scooped the G-Sting scandal, and Knapp likely tipped off Oram to events now unfolding. In a November article in the Mercury, Knapp revealed that he had two friends separately tell him about the G-Sting investigation 15 months before the story broke. It is likely one of those friends was Kent Oram, however the question is whether these conversations provided unidirectional information to Knapp, or were preemptive damage control. In other words, was Oram exchanging information with Knapp to keep himself out of the headlights of the G-Sting scandal? Well, it appears Knapp was in on the scandal as early as 1992 ("Knappster first learned about this probe almost a year ago." = May 2002).

Thursday, November 13, 2003Copyright © Las Vegas Mercury

Knappster: Feds kept G-Sting probe under wraps for months

By George Knapp

Looking back, it's somewhat amazing that the Operation G-Sting investigation was kept secret for so long. How can it be, in a town that leaks more than Washington, a town in which all the power players know each other well, that this explosive tale didn't become public knowledge long before the FBI dropped the hammer? The short answer is this: Several people did know about the probe, but it appears the primary targets were too stupid, or too greedy, to care.

By all indications, Knappster was the first journalist in Las Vegas to learn that something was up. It happened about 15 months before the feds raided Mike Galardi's clubs and served papers on local politicians. A friend of mine told me he had some very damaging information about local politicians and their dealings with Galardi. We met, and he laid out the scenario in which local politicos were using Mike Galardi like he was their personal ATM machine. It was certainly intriguing, but I had no idea how I would ever gather enough info to go with the story.

The very next day, another trusted source, out of the blue, told me the same story. The details were strikingly similar, down to the amounts of money that had allegedly been paid under the table. There was no chance whatsoever that the two sources were getting their information from the same place. Their lives simply don't intersect at any point I could discern. This second source added some blockbuster info--that the FBI was already hot on the trail of this seamy tale.

Since I had a reasonably good relationship with the FBI, I laid out some of what I had learned for an agent I knew. He almost choked on his lunch.He asked if I would be willing to meet with higher-ups at the bureau, and I agreed. The meeting was held days later, and I explained in some detail what I had learned about the relationships between Mike Galardi and a small army of politicians. The G-men wanted to know if there was any way I could hold off on the story until the investigation was further down the line. They worried that a premature news item might alert their targets and scuttle the whole thing. I agreed to hold off, as long as they agreed to make sure I got the story first and to let me know if any rivals were on the same trail.

Mighty convenient, his two friends had the same story at the same time, knew the participants, and even knew the money amounts. If these friends weren't the FBI, and they certainly weren't politicians taking the bribes, then they had to be powerful political insiders, it isn't like the cleaning lady knows details like this. And if they were insiders, then they must have known what was going on for a long time and had covered up things, but were now talking to Knapp because there was fire at their own feet. In other words, they were corrupt too. Well, there aren't that many people in Vegas with that kind of power and knowledge, but someone who could have (and should have) known details was the political consultant to [Erin Kenny, Lance Malone, Michael MacDonald, Sheriff Young, Mark James, Oscar Goodman, etc.]. Other than Kent Oram, not a lot of people fit that bill, plus know Knapp intimately enough to trust him. But of course, Kent Oram stays out of the news and doesn't leave wire tapped phone conversations, unless he wants to, so there would never be a trail between bribes and politicians, still he should be right in the middle of the whole mess.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Copyright © Las Vegas Mercury

Knappster: 'G-Sting' is just tip of iceberg

By George Knapp

Ah, but it could have been even bigger. Think of it this way. When the FBI began its inquiry, Dario Herrera was still a rising political star. People figured he was a shoo-in to be elected to Congress, and perhaps, to higher office. The G-men who were hot on his trail had to know that, by the time it was all over, they might be going after a U.S. congressman and, by inference, the powerful people who helped put him there. But there was more.

They also had a shot at bagging Nevada's lieutenant governor. I recall sitting outside Cheetahs one night last October. I had been told that a special guest would be dropping by the club that night--County Commissioner and lieutenant governor hopeful Erin Kenny was said to be coming by. We sat around for a few hours, waiting to grab a few video snippets of Kenny entering the club. We didn't get the shot but were told later that lawmen who were also on stakeout got plenty of photo-ops.

Informed sources say that, once inside, Ms. Kenny was introduced to a gathering of topless dancers. Club management described her as a friend of the industry and a friend of hoochie-koochie girls everywhere, then asked the girls to pony up some campaign money for the commissioner. Ms. Kenny also made the rounds that night at Jaguars, where she once again passed around the hat. Having spent many an hour inside such establishments in my younger years, I am not one to cast judgment on the practice of shedding one's clothes for money. I don't see anything wrong with it, as long as it is by mutual consent, and thus there's nothing unseemly about visiting one of these joints either. But is it wise for a political candidate to travel in such circles, to hang out with naked women and horny drunks and grovel for handouts at nudie joints? For goshsakes, that's why God invented bagmen. Officially, the G-men who've been chasing this G-string caper have nothing to say. Unofficially, they tell me they are simply flabbergasted over the audacity shown by their targets. Knappster first learned about this probe almost a year ago. In the months since, word has filtered around town that something was up. The three main targets of the investigation--Herrera, Kenny and Mary Kincaid-Chauncey--HAD to know that something was going on. But, according to sources, they continued to act in the same haughty way, continued to accept favors and gifts, continued to blab away on their telephones and cellulars. That's the part that truly amazes the lawmen who were/are after their asses.

So Knapp, who had helped on Erin Kenny's campaign behalf against Don Schlesinger (which featured an attempt to "out" Schlesinger), was allowed to tape Kenny taking bribes from Galardi, AND there was no leakage from Knapp?

Most Southern Nevadans have surmised for some time that, when all of the stories related to the G-Sting scandal come oozing out, the image of our community will take a hard hit. Let me tell you--you don't know the half of it. As someone who is privvy to some of the beans that Galardi has spilled, I feel safe in the prediction that our town will be shaken to its tainted foundation, and business will never be the same. The dirt is about to be dished.Thursday, September 25, 2003Copyright © Las Vegas MercuryKnappster: Many G-Sting bombshells still to come By George Knapp

If all this is true, and Knapp was "privy to some of the beans", then a coverup to protect Oram would involve not only Knapp in the media, but FBI and police sources compromised to get “the story”, making this coverup far more dangerous than the petty grifting of Malone, Kenny, McDonald, et. al. Oram had a son-in-law who worked for the FBI, as well as numerous connections in the police Department, much less running sheriff Young's campaign, so the systemic rot likely extends quite far.

Consequently, no matter what the order of events, Oram was likely told by insider Knapp and/or insider police that a sting was under way. This is important because as evidenced by the flow chart, Oram was at the center of the storm since he acted as political consultant to Kenny, Malone, MacDonald, Goodman, Sheriff Young and others all the way up to Gov. Guinn. So is Oram a guiltless innocent being tarred for random associations? His other activities suggests he knew very well of the activities of Malone, Kenny and McDonald, and even Herrera and Kincaid Chauncey.

Oram should be in a heap of trouble right now. Either he ratted out just about every client he consulted over the last ten years, or he is hiding a lot of evidence (only possible if he is getting a pass from friends in the police and FBI). As much as Oram knows, a lot of people must be very worried what the answer to this question will be.

It's useful to follow the path of unindicted politician Mark James (who suspiciously quit his county commission job for “family reasons” just as the G-Sting scandal broke). Oram was James' campaign manager for the Commission seat, making this an instructive lesson in how the smart ones in the inner circle are protected.


Anotherlong term source of political corruption in thevalley, which also amazingly ties in to the Gang of Four (Oram,Rogich, Vasillides, Goodman) is Republic Silver State Disposal. Inspection of the financial statements of candidates like Erin Kenny,Mark James and others shows Republic knew just where to put it'smoney to destroy competition and obtain monopoly status in the VegasValley.

Potentialconflicts of interest loom over Silver State contract extension votein July 09, 1999

RepublicSilver State Disposal Inc.'s negotiations with local governments tokeep exclusive possession of valley garbage services another 15 yearshas critics questioning the firm's relationship with electedofficials.

LasVegas City Council members will decide Monday whether to extendSilver State's contract -- an extension worth more than $1 billion --in exchange for $5.5 million to build a transfer station or neededparks.

TheClark County Commission often decides unanimously in favor of SilverState and did no differently last month when the company agreed topay $36 million to clean up Sunrise Mountain landfill in return for aprolonged contract.

WhileCity Council members are mulling over potential conflicts of interestbefore Monday's vote, commissioners with Silver State ties saw noproblem with voting.

CommissionerErin Kenny co-hosts annual Christmas parties with longtime friend andSilver State lobbyist John Pappageorge but has voted in favor of feehikes and transfer stations without disclosing their relationship.


(12) HARRY REID: PLUS HERRERA, RHODES, KENNY, RORY, JAMESQuestions about Harry Reid's integrity go back a long way. Harry's campaign manager in 1974, Don Williams, always did brag about his mob run ins. Harry's land partner and good friend, Jay Brown, was part of the Tropicana skim problem in 1979 that had Harry investigated for possibly being in the Kansas City mobs pockets after Joe Agosto referred to having a Mr. Cleanface in his control. Harry sticks by his friends, no matter how hard they fall.

Monday, April 28, 2003Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal Ensign standing behind embattled GOP colleague in Senate Reid won't join other Democrats calling for Santorum to resign leadership post

Reid-Torricelli redux Last year, Sen. Harry Reid was pressured to step aside temporarily as Ethics Committee chairman after the fact came out that he had given a $500 legal defense donation to then-Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., who was under Senate investigation and who eventually resigned. Now, Torricelli has contributed $4,000 to Reid's re-election campaign. Reid says he plans to keep the money. "Bob Torricelli has been a friend of mine for more than 20 years, and I stick by my friends," Reid said.

It is doubtful anyone in Nevada would object to the notion that if anyone is handpicking candidates in the Democratic Party in the Silver State, it is Senator Harry Reid.

One Candidate Reid Recruited to Run For Office In 2002 Was Later Indicted And Another Pled "Guilty To Charges Stemming From" A Corruption Investigation. "In previous years, Reid was the chess master of Nevada politics, moving pawns in and out of races. But 2002 was not a banner year for the master, when results were tallied. He had a hand in urging Dario Herrera to run for the U.S. House, Erin Kenny to run for lieutenant governor, John Hunt for attorney general and John Lee for controller. All four lost. There wasn't a close race in the bunch. To add insult, since the election, Herrera has been indicted, and Kenny has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a federal political corruption probe." (Jane Ann Morrison, "Reid Says He's Abandoning Candidate Recruitment In Wake Of 2002 Fiasco," Las Vegas Journal-Review, December 15, 2003) A prime case in point is the election of Rory Reid, Harry's son, to the County Commission. But Reid also clearly had a heavy hand in the selection of Dario Herrera to run for congress in 2002. In fact, if Dario was to move from the commission to congress, there had to be a loyal replacement and that is the entire reason Rory was selected to run in that district. So, having made clear that Senator Reid was intimately involved in monkeying with local level politics, what other campaigns was he involved in?

Well, why stop at musical chairs with the switch between Rory and Dario? The other switch that occurred in the 2002 year was the previously described move of Mark James into Erin Kenny's district so she could run for Lt. Governor. Now, the interesting thing is that Harry Reid had a house built in Searchlight Nevada by Jim Rhodes company. And by coincidence not only was Mark James representing Rhodes Homes, but Erin Kenny had also accepted a home from Rhodes (apparently as well as bribes). So it looks like Harry was very much involved with setting up these political moves and must have been in contact with Kent Oram. Once you realize Harry Reid is playing hardball political chess at this local level, you understand he is capable of much more devious moves.

Water study in rural area a step behind developers Shaun McKinnon The Arizona Republic Mar. 22, 2006 12:00 AM

Arizona regulators may take a closer look at the developer behind proposed megacommunities in northwestern Mohave County after he admitted violating federal election laws.

Corporation Commissioner Marc Spitzer said in a letter to his colleagues that he would like the board to consider whether Rhodes Homes is a "fit and proper entity" before granting an operating certificate to the private water company selected by the builder.

Jim Rhodes and two Rhodes Homes executives were fined a total of $159,000 by the Federal Election Commission for illegally funneling contributions to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Dario Herrera, a former Clark County, Nev., commissioner who was seeking a congressional seat in 2002.

The contributions were made in the names of 14 Rhodes employees and two spouses, according to the FEC. Rhodes asked the two executives named in the settlement to find the other employees to make the contributions.

Federal laws don't let donors make a contribution in the name of someone else and don't allow corporations to make contributions to candidates. By distributing the money through the others, Rhodes also exceeded campaign limits.

In all, Rhodes donated $27,000 to Herrera and $10,000 to Reid. Herrera is on trial in Las Vegas for taking cash bribes and favors from the owner of a strip club for favorable votes as a commissioner.

Spitzer wrote that he would like to ask for additional information on Rhodes and his companies if the commission decides to take more evidence in the water company case. A lawyer for Rhodes said the case is settled and no longer an issue.

- Shaun McKinnon Now, what makes this all so very much more interesting is that the above article shows Rhodes Homes has been looking to develop a huge housing development near Kingman Arizona. Mirror imaged across the Nevada/Arizona border is a little town called Searchlight Nevada, which just so happens to be the hometown of one Harry Reid. It also turns out that one Harry Reid has been buying up land around Searchlight at an incredible clip the last few years, around 213 acres that can be traced at this point, enough for approximately a subdivision of 1200 homes - unless you believe Harry is buying up desert land to preserve it. Now, the multimillion dollar question is whether there is access to water near Searchlight and whether Rhodes Homes is possibly looking into this as they are near Kingman. Just keep in mind, Searchlight is actually closer to Las Vegas than Kingman, and the corridor from Boulder City is already being developed. Even more interesting too is that one parcel of Reid land is co-owned with Jay Brown, a lawyer colleague of Oscar Goodman. As related before, Jay Brown's son David is helping to defend Dario Herrera in partnership with Eric Goodman, Oscar Goodman's son. Not only that, but Jay Brown worked for Galardi. Apr. 02, 2006Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal Bribery Trial Recap

WITNESS: FBI agent Christopher Byers BYERS: PROPOSED ORDINANCES 'DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSITE' Working on behalf of Galardi, Kenny feverishly worked on an ordinance that would allow nude dancers in strip clubs that serve alcohol. At the same time, Commissioner Yvonne Atkinson Gates was working on an amended code that would force strippers to perform on stages 6 feet away from patrons. Galardi hired well-known attorney and lobbyist Jay Brown to talk Atkinson Gates into backing off her proposal and offered him up to $50,000 if he was successful. Galardi also suggested paying Atkinson Gates $100,000 to drop her ordinance. "I don't get this bitch, man," Galardi said of Atkinson Gates during a Nov. 11, 2002, phone call. "We're flippin' going to go after her like nobody's business," Malone responded.

Apparently, Brown was hired not only to lobby Atkinson Gates, but to also lobby Dario Herrera.

Brian Allen, Reporter, KLASTV,G-Sting: Defense Attacks Galardi's Testimony, CredibilityApril 7, 2006 05:33 PM

George Federal Courthouse - April 6 - 1 p.m. Galardi also told the jury late this morning that he paid Las Vegas attorney Jay Brown $50,000 to work as a lobbyist, with his job specifically being to lobby both Dario Herrera and Yvonne Atkinson Gates. In addition Galardi testified that his former attorney, Peter Christianson, knew of the plan to bribe county commissioners.


Anyone familiar with the situation in Las Vegas knows that Lance Malone is the fall guy for all the real powerbrokers. And that's why we've left him for late in our expose, because he is too easy a target, after all, what idiot allows themselves to get wiretapped. How did this no-talent end up being an earth shaker without help from the annointed? Well, he couldn't. An interesting example is his job with a Las Vegas Convention Authority contractor.

Las Vegas Review Journal, Thursday, June 24,1999

Countycommissioner's new job raises some ethical eyebrows

LanceMalone's new part-time job as an account executive for one of thelargest convention services firms in Las Vegas is raising new ethicalquestions for the Clark County commissioner who spent the past yearbeset by them.

Malone, aLas Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board member, insistedthere is no conflict of interest for him taking the post with TheFreeman Companies because the authority board doesn't vote oncontracts with convention groups or their services firms.

He alsosaid his role as county commissioner is irrelevant because Freemandoesn't come before the commission, but competitors wonder if resortswill recommend Freeman's services over theirs because of Malone'sconnection.

"I didmy homework in making sure there were no conflicts or any perceivedconflict," said Malone, who was found in violation of ethicslaws in 1998 for voting to grant airport concessions to familyfriends. "Freeman did not come through the Board of CountyCommissioners or the LVCVA board for anything. If they did, I wouldabstain."

VisitorsAuthority Director Manny Cortez confirmed this, noting that groupswishing to use the Las Vegas Convention Center deal solely withVisitors Authority staff and must pay a nonnegotiable rate of 20cents per square foot. Once groups are booked, they must strike theirown deals with their services company, Cortez said.

Of course, what thereader needs to know is that Manny Cortez is a close friend of KentOram, and that Billy Vassiliadis has the LVCVA monopoly advertisingaccount since 1982. In fact, surprise surprise, R&R Advertising was recently given a monopoly contract on advertising for the LVCA. In other words, Lance Malone found just the right sweetspot to get not only a board position on the LVCVA, but also a jobwith a convention related business, all on the merits of him being anexceptionally bright ex-police officer. Obviously, without powerful enablers, he would have gone nowhere.

MUSICAL CHAIR LAWYERS Now, it turns out that Lance Malone's lawyer is, Dominic Gentile, a good friend of Oscar Goodman. Dominic Gentile is also the lawyer for Jack Galardi, Michael Galardi's estranged son. But, Oscar Goodman had represented Jack Galardi way back in 1972 when he was arrested for stealing checks in San Francisco and trying to cash them in Vietnam. Small world.

Even better, who should be Dario Herrera's lawyers but the son of Oscar Goodman (Eric Goodman), and the son of Jay Brown, (David Brown). Remember, Jay Brown owns land in partnership with Harry Reid. Jay Brown was also Oscar Goodman's partner way back in the racketeering days when Harry Reid sat as head of the gaming commission. Las Vegas Sun, September 19, 2003 Columnist Jon Ralston: G-Sting probe to turn corner

The issue of Brown the Elder being enmeshed here, too, is fascinating. Jay Brown has been a consummate behind-the-scenes player for many years. He is close to Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and many other politicians, including several local government officials. He also has become a major campaign contributor to local campaigns. Herrera also has done work for Brown since he left the commission. It is no coincidence that the sons of Goodman and Brown are Herrera's attorneys. But are the sons or the fathers giving the loudest counsel? I wonder.


The treatment of Steve Harney started above in our section on Erin Kenny, but transitions well into the sordid relations Oram has with the police department. How do Oram, Vassiliadis, Rogich and even Goodmanget away with obviously corrupt activities? It's clear it's becauseof close, and I mean close, ties to the police and even FBI.

Wejust saw above how the Police Protective Association, a dupe of Oram,was willing to send a mailer showing a man with a missing eyeball toscare people away from Steve Harney, But there is even more to theHarney story, it is one of many examples of how Oram uses insiderinfluence in the police department to influence political events.

Friday,May 08, 1998

Candidate'sflier upsets patrol chief

Trooperand county office hopeful Steve Harney says he is being forced toretire, a claim his boss denies.

TheNevada Highway Patrol chief denied Thursday that he is forcing ClarkCounty Commission candidate Steve Harney to retire as a trooper andaccused Harney of lying about their conversation to get publicity.

ChiefMichael Hood angrily denounced Harney's claim that Harney is beingforced out and said he merely told Harney in a Thursday conversationthat he could not use the term "trooper" or pictures ofhimself in uniform in campaign material.

"Steveas well as anyone knows you cannot use your position as a lawenforcement officer to foster political gain," Hood said. "Icannot let the public be victimized by him using the Highway Patrol'sname and integrity when we don't know what type of countycommissioner he'd be."

Harney,the former Clark County spokesman for the Highway Patrol who filedMonday to challenge incumbent Commissioner Erin Kenny, issued astatement Thursday insisting Hood is forcing him out because he hadasked for time off to campaign. The statement made no mention of theuniform and title usage issue, but Harney said later in an interviewthat he saw no problem with the literature.

"Afterhe got off the phone with (the Review-Journal), he called me andthreatened me," Harney said. "He said if he sees any ofthat literature, he would put an injunction on it, and he told me hewould deal with me within the department. But I won't be bullied."

Isthis just a tempest in a teapot? Are we imagining that Harney wasbeing targeted by others in the police department in retribution forrunning against Erin Kenny? A lawsuit by Highway Patrol trooper KenGager (the guy with the missing eyeball, remember?) alleged thatHarney, as president of the troopers' union in 1996, conspired withthe Nevada Highway Patrol administration to have Gager demoted orfired for questioning the use of union funds, even though Gager'sduties had not changed since he returned to a desk job a year afterthe blast. Consequently we know Harney had bucked the unionestablishment, an establishment Oram kept under his careful guidance. The payback for Harney questioning the union was the PoliceProtective Association mailer.

Togive the reader a further flavor of how embedded Oram is within thelaw enforcement community, and has links up to the attorney generalfor that matter, look at this exchange recorded in the Las Vegas SunOctober 11, 2002 :

ColumnistErin Neff: Only endorsements that count are by voters

JohnHunt, a Democrat running for attorney general, says he doesn't haveany major law enforcement endorsements because every organization hadalready endorsed Republican candidate Brian Sandoval before Huntentered the race in March.<p>

Duringa debate Thursday, Sandoval asked Hunt why he tried to deflectattention from his lack of endorsements by decrying the process as a"back-room deal."

Huntanswered that it is an insider's game, because political consultantKent Oram works for both the PPA and Sandoval.

Thesuggestion? Oram went to the PPA and told it to endorse Sandoval.

"Ifyou're telling me it's a back-room deal," Hunt said to Sandoval,"fine."

Inshort, Oram has bought not only the police, but the police unions andthe attorney generals office. Apparently, he can call on policeinsides to play dirty tricks as well, as shown in 2002 when MichaelMacDonald lost to Janet Moncrief:.

Review Journal, Wednesday, November 05, 2003 EDITORIAL: Leaks and probes

-Sheriff Bill Young has made the right moves so far in theinvestigation of a police dispatcher who trumped up allegations thatnewly elected Las Vegas City Councilwoman Janet Moncrief had beendriving drunk. But the matter is -- or should be -- far from settled.

Ms. Moncrief,a political neophyte, unseated City Councilman (and former Metropolice officer) Michael McDonald after a bitter campaign. A few weeksafter her election, police unexpectedly removed Ms. Moncrief fromFellini's restaurant and gave her a field sobriety test -- theofficers determined she was not intoxicated. That prompted the newcouncil member to ask Sheriff Young why she had been singled out.

An InternalAffairs investigation revealed that Ms. Moncrief's accuser was aMetro dispatcher, Cynthia Thomas. Ms. Thomas -- whose husband is aformer police colleague of Mr. McDonald's and worked on hisre-election campaign -- claimed she saw Ms. Moncrief consume severaldrinks at the Ice House downtown before following the councilwoman asshe "erratically" drove to Fellini's.

The probe alsodiscovered that Ms. Thomas improperly accessed Ms. Moncrief's policerecord during the campaign and leaked information about the candidateto the press, including several traffic arrests from 1994. During theprobe, Ms. Thomas also reportedly lied to investigators about herrole in what Sheriff Young aptly called "political shenanigans."

On Thursday, Ms.Thomas was temporarily relieved of duty, while Sheriff Young decideson further disciplinary actions. "You don't use our powers, ourlaw enforcement agency for this type of unethical and dishonestaction," Mr. Young said. "I'm not going to tolerate it.”

And what exactlywasn't Young going to tolerate? Kent Oram's group using the policeas a shill for their dirty work? Employees of the police departmentworking for a campaign (directed by Paladin and OIZ) and then usingtheir police power to rifle through police records and plant storiesand incite arrests of private citizens when their boy loses anelection? Of course, the reason Young would act as an Oram stooge wasbecause Young's campaign manager was none other than -- Kent Oram:

Review Journal, Thursday,November 08, 2001 :

SHERIFF CAMPAIGN:Young enters race to succeed Keller

Young said hispriority, "first and foremost, is to make this the safesttourist destination in the world. We have to protect our lifeblood,the tourist industry. It has to be preserved and protected."

He's alreadylined up some of the state's biggest consulting names -- Sig Rogich,Billy Vassiliadis and Kent Oram -- to help his campaign effort.

Young predictedthe sheriff's race will be a "dogfight" and said he wouldneed to raise between $1 million and $1.5 million for the county-widerace.

Oram describedYoung as a career police officer, "and in my opinion, that'swhat this town is going to want in a sheriff. I do not see anoutsider winning this race."

Of course "an outsider" couldn't win the race, because Oram has been deciding the sheriff campaign for a long time and has close connections to the police unions. If it were the casethat Young wouldn't tolerate corruption, then he probably would havebeen kept in the loop on the G-Sting scandal, but that wasn't the case. From the Las VegasSun, June 5: 2003

Operation G-StingUpdate: Strip Club Owner Target Of FBI Probe (June 5)

FBI agents andMetro Police swooped down on local topless clubs one week agoWednesday. The probe is looking into under-the-table cash paymentsbetween strip club owners and elected officials. Eyewitness News haslearned Clark County Sheriff Bill Young is complaining Metro has beenleft out of the loop on this probe. And new information hassurfaced about secretly recorded tapes of strip club owners talkingabout those cash payments to officials. A grand jury is meetingdaily and discussing this on-going case.

Obviously the Fedsknew Young was likely to tip off political insider Kent Oram. IfYoung was clueless about G-Sting, he wasn't clueless about who hisbest buddies were and right after the scandal broke, he went back tothe well with Oram and Vassiliadis for his campaign for more moneyfor the police department. From the Las Vegas Sun, October 17, 2003

Columnist JeffGerman: Young seeks tax hike for more cops

On Thursday Youngset the wheels in motion for an ambitious ballot initiative in 2004to ask voters for a property tax hike to put more cops on the street.

He summoned asmall group of community leaders he hopes will help him raise $1million for the campaign to his City Hall office, where he pitchedhis case for additional officers.

At the meetingYoung received a $20,000 check from the Las Vegas Police ProtectiveAssociation, the union that represents the officers under thesheriff's command, to kick off the fund-raising drive.

Young already hasassembled an impressive array of political strategists to coordinatethe ballot initiative, which officially won't get underway untilearly next year. Kent Oram, Sig Rogich and Billy Vassiliadis all areon board.

These close ties certainly have the appearance of corruption, after all, Vassiliadis and Oram don't run these campaigns for chump change. In fact, Oram and Vassiliadis have long had a lock on determining the sheriff race. From Review Journal, January 08, 1998: Former rival's endorsement gets Keller's campaign rolling

If Hitt can assemble a capable inside team -- and sources say the prospect of his candidacy has been well received by police veterans Randy Oaks and Gary Schofield -- then he could be perceived at Metro as a viable alternative to Keller.
If he can gather a small group of monied backers who are interested in seeing a new face in the office, and sources say Hitt already has begun collecting names, then he might be able to amass enough funds to make his candidacy appear financially viable.
Add a competent campaign manager from outside the state -- Keller already has Kent Oram and Billy Vassiliadis locked up -- and Hitt could gain the political acumen he now lacks.
Then there is the Police Protective Association endorsement to consider, something Vassiliadis traditionally has been able to deliver for his candidates. If Hitt runs, that endorsement won't be guaranteed.
If Hitt can assemble a capable inside team -- and sources say the prospect of his candidacy has been well received by police veterans Randy Oaks and Gary Schofield -- then he could be perceived at Metro as a viable alternative to Keller.
If he can gather a small group of monied backers who are interested in seeing a new face in the office, and sources say Hitt already has begun collecting names, then he might be able to amass enough funds to make his candidacy appear financially viable.
Add a competent campaign manager from outside the state -- Keller already has Kent Oram and Billy Vassiliadis locked up -- and Hitt could gain the political acumen he now lacks.
Then there is the Police Protective Association endorsement to consider, something Vassiliadis traditionally has been able to deliver for his candidates. If Hitt runs, that endorsement won't be guaranteed.

Apparently Young and the PPA are either soblind, or so corrupt, that they could be bought off with a campaign by Oram and Vassiliadis for moredoughnut money. Of course, this suggests the reason Las Vegas ended up with beat policemen/strip bar consultants like Malone and McDonald in political office.


'Tis a nasty web we weave. Oram's ability to act as a magnet forpolitical corruption without sufferingconsequence is given by numerous events inthe public domain that haven't before been connected. The followingdescribes the Erin Kenny story (indictedfor taking bribes not only from Galardi, but also $200,00 from TripleFive, a home from Jim Rhodes and who knows what). The story startswith Erin Kenny, but like usual becomes a complicated trail withOram's fingerprints and leads to Mark James (as described above),Republic, Rhodes, Triple Five and of course Michael Galardi. Ironically, the relative innocent in this story isGalardi, who was playing for chump change compared to the otherplayers.

ErinKenny got her start after Republic Silver State lobbyist JohnPappageorge clashed with former Clark County commissioner DonSchlesinger over Pappageorge's spendinghabits in the early 1990s and he sought Kenny to oust Schlesinger. Hethen assisted Kenny during her 1994 bid, though Kent Oram actedas her campaign manager. In the typical dirty pool used by Oram,there was an unsigned mailer which attempted to outSchlesinger as gay, which rumor traced through one of the OIZsecretaries.. From an October 1998 Review Journalarticle recounting similarly disgusting tactics in the 1994 campaign:

Harneysaid the ad is a smear attempt similar to one Kenny is accused ofusing in 1994 on then-County

CommissionerDon Schlesinger one week before her Democratic primary victory. Ananonymous letter that week

allegedSchlesinger was gay. The letter was never proven to have beencirculated by Kenny.

"Thisparticular mail piece is consistent with the mode of advertising theKenny campaign chooses to do just before an election," saidSchlesinger, who said he is not gay.

Theletter was never proven to have been circulated by Kenny” ???? Of course not, it's just that campaign after campaign in whichOram and Paladin Advertising are involved, there is always a lastminute anonymous mailer, like Clockwork Orange, a recurring nightmarefor candidates who get smeared. Note that 1994 is the year PaladinAdvertising opened their offices in the shared headquarters with OIZAdvertising and right away we see a letter from nowhere.

Aswe show ad nauseum, last minute anonymous campaign letters are anOram calling card and a specialty of Paladin Advertising,who sometimes were even caught red handedly as with the mailer theyforged to be from the Republican Elephant's club (see PaladinAdvertising above and the Michael MacDonald campaign).

Justas you think trying to out someone as gay isn't low enough as apolitical tactic, or .forging letters from the Republican BigElephant Club to say Steve Miller was using handicapped workers fromOpportunity Village to staff Miller's campaign against MichaelMacDonald, you are always surprised just how revolting Oram couldget, especially in cahoots with the queen of sleaeze Erin Kenny. From a Wednesday, October 28, 1998 Review Journal article:

Campaignmailer gets very graphic

Anew campaign mailer that displays graphic photos of a severelyinjured Nevada Highway Patrol trooper has offended some southwest LasVegas residents and outraged the Clark County Commission challengerit targets.

Butthe incumbent, Erin Kenny, said she sees nothing wrong with themailer even if "it's not something I would let my kids look at."

Theflier, sent out by the police union this weekend, attacks Republicancandidate Steve Harney and informs voters about a federal lawsuitfiled against Harney and others by the injured man, Ken Gager.

Gageris shown in one picture with a mangled face and an empty eye socket,and in another shirtless with gashes across his chest from a 1993mail bomb.

Thetrooper filed the lawsuit in July alleging Harney, as president ofthe troopers' union in 1996, conspired with Highway Patroladministration to have him demoted or fired because he wasquestioning the use of union funds.

Gager,who did not return a call for comment Tuesday, has seen no change inhis duties since he returned to work in a desk job one year after theblast. Harney has denied he ever tried to harm Gager's job status andsaid Gager lost two other civil lawsuits related to the bombing.

Kenny-- who has raised a record-shattering $995,177 and will likely becomethe first $1 million commission

candidate-- insisted her campaign had no hand in the mailer. Yet she used theGager matter in a radio ad -- before the union did -- and has pointedto it in recent weeks as a cause for Harney's failure to win a secondterm as union president.

Someresidents said Tuesday they associate the flier with her campaigneven though the police union has taken responsibility.

"I'venever seen anything like this in the mail," complained JeannineFusco, 35, a registered Democrat.

"Youcould have little children going out to get the mail for mommy anddaddy and come back in with this."

HighwayPatrol Chief Michael Hood called the flier "disgusting" andsaid it "saddens me that political campaigns have digressed tothis point." Hood also is a defendant in the lawsuit, which hesaid is frivolous.

Harneysaid the ad is a smear attempt similar to one Kenny is accused ofusing in 1994 on then-County Commissioner Don Schlesinger one weekbefore her Democratic primary victory. An anonymous letter that weekalleged Schlesinger was gay. The letter was never proven to have beencirculated by Kenny.

"Thisparticular mail piece is consistent with the mode of advertising theKenny campaign chooses to do

justbefore an election," said Schlesinger, who said he is not gay."It makes it seem like somehow Steve Harney is responsible foran officer being brutally attacked."

PoliceProtective Association President Andy Anderson was unavailable forcomment Tuesday.

Afterthe one-eyeball-mailer, Erin Kenny went on to even greater honors,taking $200,000 bribes from Triple Five Developer in a Bermuda Bankaccount, taking money from Michael Galardi of Cheetahs, getting ahome from developer Jim Rhodes, introducing Lance Malone to KentOram. While everyone involved in these scandals has dirt on theirhands, Erin Kenny seemed to have nothing to offer except a bag ofdirty tricks.

Apr. 02, 2006Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

Bribery Trial Recap

WITNESS: Former Clark County Commissioner Erin Kenny KENNY, memory hazy, IMPLICATES OTHERS

Kenny dropped a bombshell in court when she testified she not only accepted cash bribes from Galardi, but also Triple Five Development and its owner Eskander Ghermezian. She said she received $3,000 a month from Ghermezian between late 1999 and May 2003, when she was indicted in connection with the Galardi case. She said she also received a $200,000 payment after she voted in favor of zone changes that allowed a CVS Pharmacy. She said the money came from developer Don Davidson, but it was his son, Larry Davidson, who created an offshore account for the payment.

After being defeated for lieutenant governor, she hadlost her claim to power, and what was a poor girl to do? We find outfrom the Thursday, August 07, 2003 Review Journal:

Ethicspanel spells out one-year no-lobby period

Proposalfollows ex-commissioner's controversial efforts for developer

A"hard-and-fast" cooling-off period would bar elected countyofficials and county managers from lobbying for one year under aproposal Wednesday by a county ethics advisory panel. Former ClarkCounty Commissioner Erin Kenny sparked controversy earlier this yearwith her lobbying activities after she left office. She interpretedthe county's existing one-year prohibition to apply only to itemsthat had come before her when she was a commissioner. After she leftoffice in January, she became a consultant to developer Jim Rhodesand lobbied county officials on his behalf.

Rhodeswas pushing for a zone change on land he bought at the Hardie GypsumMine, near Red Rock Canyon. Issues related the mine appeared beforethe board four times in the last four months of Kenny's tenure. County Manager Thom Reilly told the Clark County Ethics Task Force heand County Counsel Mary-Anne Miller disagreed with Kenny'sinterpretation that she was not restricted from lobbying on Rhodes'behalf because he did not yet own the land when she voted on issuesinvolving the property.

Afterall the dots we've connected, this certainly puts the nail in thecoffin lid as to whether Kenny was an innocent target, or whetherwith her buddies Oram, Malone, James, Pappageorge, Reid, et. al. She wasjust a cheap shakedown grifter all along.


(14) DARIO HERRERADario Herrera had a golden career in politics, but it an awful lot of it was based on shady connections. Herrera was born in Miami, Florida to Cuban immigrants and raised in a single-parent family. In 1991, he moved to Las Vegas to attend UNLV, where he abandoned his college football aspirations and graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science. In 1996, at the age of 23, he was elected to the Nevada State Assembly, winning the primary by 30 percentage points and the general election by more than 16 points over his Republican opponent. In 1997, he served on the Health and Human Services, Judiciary, Commerce, Education, Elections and Procedures, and Ethics Committees. After serving out his two-year term, he ran for commissioner in 1999 and won. Soon after he was throwing votes for Michael Galardi.

Steve Miller,

Letizia doubles as the PR man for the Crazy Horse Too strip club purportedly owned by Rizzolo who is a subject in a federal investigation of racketeering, and is also a well known campaign fundraiser. Letizia's local venues of choice are Piero's and Cili. Other local political fund raisers include Rizzolo's legal team of Dean Patti and Tony Sgro who have been known to throw extravagant parties at Rizzolo's Canyon Gate estate in the hills west of Vegas. These events are mainly attended by judges, and the hoodlum clients of their law firm.

I often refer on these pages to Clark County District Attorney David Roger, and District Court Judge Nancy Saitta. Both have been recipients of parties thrown by Letizia at Piero's, and Roger even received a fund raiser held at Rizzolo's LV estate. Both have been suspected of doing favors for Rizzolo.

Some powerful people spent time putting Dario in position, including Harry Reid who supported Herrera's 2002 congressional campaign. The question is, how many of those people were kept busy cleaning up after Herrera's various messes?

Tuesday, February 26, 2002Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

PR WORK: HUD won't investigate HerreraNo violations seen in housing authority contract


Clark County Commission Chairman Dario Herrera won't be campaigning for Congress with a federal investigation hovering over his race.

Law enforcement officials said Monday they are not opening investigations into a public relations contract awarded to Herrera by Frederick Brown, executive director of the Las Vegas Housing Authority.

"Right now it's determined there is no violation that we're aware of," said Terry Hulse, acting special-agent-in-charge of the FBI's Las Vegas office. The Housing and Urban Development Department "said they didn't see a violation in what happened, at this point."

Housing Authority Board member Dewain Steadman on Feb. 15 asked Las Vegas police and the FBI to investigate the contract for possible misuse of federal funds, after learning Brown hired Herrera without telling the board.

"We had examined it and referred it to the FBI, and we don't do ethics investigations," said Sheriff Jerry Keller.

After hearing that HUD didn't see any violation, Steadman said, "I'm a firm believer in the process. If they say there's not enough evidence to cause an investigation, I'm very comfortable with it."

Herrera said he merely followed Brown's instruction when it came to getting the public relations work. "He managed the process. He came to me about PR work for the Housing Authority; I did the work."

The Democratic candidate for the 3rd Congressional District described the situation as "an unfortunate miscommunication between the executive director and his board."

Records show Herrera received $50,000 from the authority, including eight payments each of $4,500 between January 2001 and September 2001. Starting in November, he received $3,500 for each of the four months he shared a contract with Lucie Melchert, owner of Tribeca Media. Melchert went through the bidding process to secure the $84,000-a-year contract.

Melchert said she told Brown he might want to bring in someone else for the strategic planning part of the contract; Brown arranged for Herrera to handle that. The authority's original solicitation for proposals never mentioned strategic planning skills.

Herrera acknowledged he never went through a bid proposal process for any of the work he did for the authority. Brown is a member of Herrera's congressional exploratory committee.

Herrera last week offered to withdraw from the contract; by Monday, Melchert had joined him, saying the furor affected her effectiveness.

Authority board chairman Robert Forbuss accepted their offers, saying he thought Brown "was acting in what he believed to be the best interest of the authority" when he hired a PR firm. Forbuss said future contracts will have to go before the board for approval.

Some executives at 10 ad agencies who went through the initial bid process said they found it unusual.

"I just find it interesting that Dario didn't have to go through any of the steps that we had to go through," said Susie Black, an accounts supervisor at Faiss Foley Merica and former president of the Public Relations Society of Nevada.

Black said her firm, which ranked 9th among bidders, at one point received a fax from the authority saying it decided not to hire a PR firm. Shortly after that, she said, the company received notice that Tribeca had been hired. Only recently was it disclosed that Herrera received part of that contract without participating in the proposal process.

Rich Newman, owner of Newman Verrill, whose proposal was ranked 10th, operates the third oldest agency in Las Vegas. "It was not only a waste of our time, but there is no doubt the bid was rigged," he said.

Brown said Monday he was under no legal obligation to solicit bids when he hired Herrera in January. He said his contract officer told him if the work continued past piecemeal projects, it needed to go out for bid.

Brown said of the possibility the FBI would get involved: "I knew that wasn't even a problem. I would welcome an investigation. There wouldn't be anything found to be incorrect." So, a sweetheart deal where other competition was brushed aside and Dario awarded a $50,000 no-work position, was swept under the rug even though there was an FBI referral? During a congressional campaign? The only one powerful enough to do that would have been Harry Reid. And Harry was obviously driven to put Democrats into key positions in Nevada, to the point of fanatacism. In the spring of 2006, when given an opportunity to express collegiality with Senate Republicans, Harry said he hated them, listing only a few exceptions.

It gets better though. First Dario employed Eric Goodman (Oscar's son), and David Brown (Jay Brown's son, the co-owner of land in Searchlight with Reid).

Tuesday, August 30, 2005Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

Herrera hires two prominent lawyers

Attorneys to defend former official against corruption chargesBy ADRIENNE PACKERREVIEW-JOURNAL

Dario HerreraIndicted on charges he accepted cash bribes from strip club owner Michael Galardi Former Clark County Commissioner Dario Herrera hired a New York-based white-collar crime attorney and a well-known local lawyer Monday to defend him against federal political corruption charges. Jerry D. Bernstein and Anthony Sgro will orchestrate the defense for Herrera, who was indicted in 2003 on charges that during his tenure as commissioner, he accepted cash bribes from strip club owner Michael Galardi. In a prepared statement, Bernstein wasted no time attempting to discredit Galardi, who pleaded guilty to bribery charges and is a government witness. "Dario's accuser is a known liar and cheat who has made outrageous claims of corruption against numerous elected public officials," the statements says. "We look forward to putting forth a vigorous defense to clear the false charges against Dario and restore his good name." Sgro, who has also represented Crazy Horse Too owner Rick Rizzolo in an ongoing federal racketeering and tax evasion investigation, said he believes Herrera is innocent. "As someone who knew Dario when he was an elected official, there's no doubt in my mind that he is innocent," Sgro said in the statement. Bernstein, Sgro and Herrera declined further comment through Herrera's consultant, Mark Jolley. The two attorneys replace Eric Goodman, the son of Mayor Oscar Goodman, and David Brown. They were hired to help Herrera through pretrial work.


Back in 1979, Jay Brown was a council to the Tropicana, then under investigation for skimming to the Civella crime family in Kansas City. Brown also acted as lawyer to Lefty Rosenthal, with his then partner Oscar Goodman (about the time someone tried to kill Lefty with a car bomb). The Tropicana was under investigation by the Gaming Control Board run by Harry Reid in 1979, but strangely enough Brown became a close friend of Harry Reid and Rory Reid. Go figure.

. Later, Brown became a lobbiest for Galardi. Sometime employer of Dario Herrera. Land partner with Harry Reid. Former law partner of Oscar Goodman. Co-owner with Goodman of property. Father of David Brown, who with Eric Goodman (son of Oscar Goodman) were the first lawyers for Dario Herrera. Co-partner with Rory Reid in an Indian gaming venture. Lawyer to Jim Rhodes.

When you add this all up, what you get is a connection between Senator Harry Reid, through Jay Brown/Jim Rhodes/Dario Herrera/Michael Galardi/Oscar Goodman and mass corruption.