Late exec faced scrutiny for debts


Nightlife executive Scott DeGraff had moved to Aspen, Colo., to start anew after a falling out with Palms owner George Maloof about five years ago.

DeGraff, who was found dead in Aspen on Thursday from what authorities are calling an apparent suicide, was persona non grata at the Palms after being ousted as the manager of N9NE Group's nightlife and dining operations.

As business reversals mounted in Aspen, he was facing media scrutiny for a mountain of debt.

DeGraff didn't mention his financial setbacks during a recent lunch meeting with Maloof.

They got together about two months ago at TGI Friday's at the Gold Coast.

"We spoke about some of our past experiences, nothing about business. Just as friends. We had a lot of laughs," said Maloof.

A source said DeGraff's departure from the Palms had to do with DeGraff's erratic behavior. "He put a lot of people's jobs in jeopardy. Scott was his own worst enemy."

With DeGraff under growing fire a year ago, one of his top executives sent a withering letter to the editor of the Aspen Daily News.

Gina Boccadoro defended DeGraff, saying his "legitimate business disputes" were being unfairly portrayed by "vicious" media reports.

"It is obvious that you, among others in this small-minded town, have made this personal and by doing so have poisoned many minds along the way," Boccadoro wrote.

"For the past two years, he has had to endure your unfair personal attacks and has found himself on the receiving end of an unfortunate business situation, which you continue to inaccurately report.

Boccadoro added, "As a former director of media relations from Las Vegas, you are as bad, if not worse than, the paparazzi who I wouldn't give the time of day to.

"Trust me, the stories I could write after 22 years in that town are not only AP worthy, but would monopolize Page 6, if you are even familiar with what Page 6 is."

REMEMBERING BING

An Irish TV production company was in town Friday filming the first of a six-part series on influential U.S. musicians of Irish descent.

They interviewed Bing Crosby's niece, Carolyn Schneider, at her Summerlin home on the 35th anniversary of Crosby's concert benefit at the Aladdin to help build the Holy Family Catholic Church at Mountain Vista Street and Harmon Avenue.

Crosby had agreed to do the fundraiser after receiving a plea from a local priest who had been holding Mass in the Sundancer Western Saloon on Boulder Highway.

"When the saloon was sold and turned into a topless disco, it was too much for Father Benjamin Franzinelli, wrote Schneider in her book, "Bing: On the Road to Elko."

Crosby died 11 months later at age 74 after playing golf in Spain.

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Tweet of the Day: Robin Meade, host of Headline News' "Morning Express With Robin Meade," tweeted on Friday: "Crazy #blackfriday MT @mynd4life: @RobinMeade Saw lady in Vegas WalMart pick up cream pie and slam into another lady's face to cut her off." 

SIGHTINGS

Singer Lisa Loeb, having Thanksgiving breakfast with her family at Mr. Lucky's Café (Hard Rock Hotel).

THE PUNCH LINE

"Like parade balloons, you require a dozen handlers to navigate you to the couch." -- From David Letterman's Top Ten Signs You Ate Too Much at Thanksgiving Dinner 

.Norm Clarke can be reached at 702-383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.

 

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