LVCVA security officers diverted to drive Rossi Ralenkotter, Oscar Goodman

Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority security officers left their posts on a Sunday morning in 2014 to drive CEO Rossi Ralenkotter to the home of former Mayor Oscar Goodman, then picked him up that afternoon to take him home.

A few months earlier, officers stationed at the Las Vegas Convention Center took Ralenkotter to Guardian Angel Cathedral and picked him up an hour later, records show.

And in 2015, a guard and his bomb-sniffing dog waited about an hour outside a doctor’s office near Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center until Ralenkotter emerged for his ride, a local resident said.

The officers, paid by taxpayers and charged with protecting visitors, drive Ralenkotter and Goodman to casinos, shops and other locations so often that staff members dubbed the dispatches “Rossi runs” and “Oscar runs” in security logs obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Expand to see selected LVCVA security logs from 2016

Over three years, the logs show officers escorted Ralenkotter about 60 times to destinations across Clark County, including trips to the airport, his home and other events. Goodman, a former chairman of the board that oversees the convention authority, is not an employee at the agency, but he also received nearly 60 rides to places like The Cosmopolitan, the Golden Nugget and The Linq.

Goodman has a contract that pays him $72,000 annually to serve as the agency’s tourism “ambassador,” greeting visitors with a martini in hand and a showgirl on each arm. His wife, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, is a current authority board member.

John Delaberta, a retired Henderson businessman who saw the officer and dog wait for Ralenkotter, said the transports are not an appropriate use of taxpayer resources.

“You make $700,000, and (Ralenkotter) can’t afford a $20 cab fare?” he said. “That’s the height of gall.”

Ray Suppe, the authority’s executive director of customer safety, said the rides are not common and serve multiple purposes.

“There’s an element of protection in it and which is where I’m coming from as the head of security — that is my job — and there’s also an element of efficiency,” he said. “It’s so infrequent that it’s crazy that we’re even having these conversations.”

Suppe said security is necessary because Ralenkotter is the “face of tourism” in Las Vegas and the authority’s “number one asset.”

“There have been threats, specific threats (but) I’m not going to talk about that,” he said.

Ralenkotter gave a different explanation, citing health reasons in a statement provided after the Review-Journal’s interview with Suppe.

“Over the last few years, on rare and intermittent occasions, members of our security team have driven me both from location to location on property, as well as to and from other destinations in the community as I performed my duties for the Convention Authority,” he said in the statement, which did not address specific locations and home transport. “Unfortunately, I occasionally needed this assistance as a result of extensive chemotherapy that made it difficult to drive myself.”

Convention authority spokeswoman Jacqueline Peterson said security officers have been transporting executives and VIP guests within the 200-acre convention center and around Las Vegas since the early 2000s. Before then, the agency had a “dedicated vehicle” for that service, she said.

Curtis Kalin, a spokesman for Washington, D.C.-based Citizens Against Government Waste, said Ralenkotter’s health problems do not justify the public expense.

“While everyone has sympathy for anyone afflicted with a horrendous disease, all public officials need to answer for every questionable use of taxpayer dollars,” he said.


The security escorts are an additional perk for an employee who last year received more than $768,000 in compensation from the authority. That pay, funded mostly by taxes on hotel rooms, includes a $9,000 annual car allowance, records show. Wes Rand/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

After a June 13 convention authority board meeting, Ralenkotter, flanked by security and public relations staff, fled a reporter’s questions about his use of guarded transportation. Peterson said Ralenkotter was not available to answer questions. Oscar Goodman hung up the phone when a reporter called for comment.

Suppe said some of the trips could have included dignitaries within the massive convention center grounds.

But the practice takes officers, at times with bomb-sniffing dogs, away from their assigned duties of protecting convention visitors.

“Eddie will be doing a Rossi escort at 2100 so don’t give him any calls!” an April 23, 2015, dispatch log entry says.

Expand to see selected LVCVA security logs from 2015

In October 2014, an officer noted he was “off property on Rossi run.” Three months later, an officer was reassigned from an escort at the convention center to shuttle Ralenkotter.

Delaberta said he witnessed authority officer Woody Chan and his bomb-sniffing dog, Cooper, wait nearly an hour outside a doctor’s office near Sunrise hospital until Ralenkotter emerged. Chan told Delaberta that he and Cooper were on an “executive transport.”

Last year, taxpayers spent nearly $5 million on pay and benefits for the 70 security officers, supervisors and dispatchers at the authority, salary data show. The average pay and benefits for officers were $64,000 a year.

It is difficult to quantify the costs of the service because the logs often do not include specific locations or how long an officer was out of service, but a one-way trip from the convention center to Ralenkotter’s current home takes 22 minutes without traffic.

Suppe could not address specific calls but said he does not allow the transports to interfere with visitor safety. “If we’re able to push (an officer’s) calls or area of assignment to another officer, then I do not see an issue with that at all,” he said.


In state government, only Gov. Brian Sandoval has full-time security and transportation service, said Jim Wright, director of the Department of Public Safety, which runs the governor’s protection program.

No other top elected officials, including the secretary of state and the attorney general, or appointed state staff members have security or chauffeured transport, he said.

John Kuhlman, a spokesman for the Nevada System of Higher Education, said none of the chancellors he has served over the past 20 years received a driver.

In Las Vegas, a deputy city marshal accompanies Mayor Carolyn Goodman to public events for security reasons, and they may ride together, city spokeswoman Margaret Kurtz said in an email. No other staff member has that service unless there is a specific threat.

Oscar Goodman, who preceded his wife as mayor, also had a marshal who went to events with him when he represented the city during his three terms, Kurtz said.

But his predecessor, Jan Jones Blackhurst, did not.

“It may have been a different time, but I never had a driver,” said Jones, a senior executive with Caesars Entertainment Corp. “I believe that practice began with Oscar’s administration.”

Clark County does not provide transportation or security for elected or appointed officials.


The security logs at the convention center detail the use of officers for both work-relatedl and apparently personal trips.

Ralenkotter called dispatch on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, at 12:08 p.m. for a ride to Guardian Angel Cathedral and a return trip about an hour later.

The church website shows a weekly service on Sundays at 12:30 p.m.

Suppe said he did not have any information about the reason for the call, but it could have been for a memorial service or some other business purpose.

In some cases, Ralenkotter appears to use security staff to run errands for him, records show.

“Rossi wants an officer to come and get Rossi’s keys, search his car for his cell phone, take the keys and cell phone (if found) back to his office,” a June 24, 2015 log entry says.

On the same day, an officer brought a box from Ralenkotter’s car to his executive assistant’s vehicle. A January 2015 log says: “Call Cashman check the mtg rm lobby area to see if they can find Rossi’s glasses.”

Also in June, the logs say an officer was sent to remove luggage from the car of Ralenkotter’s executive assistant and put in Ralenkotter’s vehicle.

Security officers also frequently delivered Goodman’s paycheck to his convention center office.


It is not clear how often officers travel to Ralenkotter’s house on the far south side of the city, but there are at least six references in the logs to Ralenkotter being driven, picked up or canceling a request for service from his home.

The records show weeks without any transports but also short periods of time with a large number of rides.

From April 9 to April 14 last year, there were five notations in the logs for security officers to transport Ralenkotter. The officers were scheduled to drive Ralenkotter from his house to the South Point. He cancelled that ride. Officers picked him up at the Wynn and at the valet parking at the Forum Shops at Caesars, records show. There were also two additional references to “Rossi” being picked up without locations.

Expand to see selected LVCVA security logs from 2014

In 2014, Ralenkotter went to Goodman’s house on a weekend and was driven by security staff. “On Sunday 1-5-2014: Have security pick up Rossi at 0900 and take him to Oscar Goodman’s house.” The same logs also direct security to pick Ralenkotter up from Goodman’s house and take him home at 1:15 p.m.

Suppe said Ralenkotter receives the most transports and Goodman the second most while other executives rarely use the service. Most of the records in the security log provide no details about trips made for Goodman.

“If we are available and we can provide that level of protection to Oscar Goodman, I’m going to provide it,” Suppe said. “I believe it’s my duty to provide protection to public figures that we have working here.”

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands Corp. operates the Sands Expo and Convention Center, which competes with the LVCVA-operated Las Vegas Convention Center.

The Review-Journal owns the domain, which is subleased to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The sublease terminates Aug. 2.

Contact Arthur Kane at Contact Jeff German at Contact Brian Joseph at Follow @ArthurMKane, @JGermanRJ and @bjoseph1 on Twitter.

2 in custody after chase
Two people were in custody after a chase involving Nevada Highway Patrol and Nye County Sheriff"s office deputies ended in southwest Las Vegas. Las Vegas police blocked off Rainbow Boulevard north of Tropicana Avenue around 1 a.m. Wednesday. Law enforcement personnel prepared to tow a black sedan as part of their investigation. It's not certain what precipitated the chase or where and when it started. Check back for updates.
Police Officer's Vehicle Was Taken During Shooting
Video from body worn camera footage released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Wednesday shows an officer realizing his police vehicle has been taken during the chaos of the Route 91 shooting. It was later recovered at Sunrise hospital with the keys in the ignition and nothing removed. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
See Kitty Hawk’s flying car cruise over Lake Las Vegas
Kitty Hawk takes their flying car for a ride in the company’s hidden test facility in Lake Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Las Vegas police wild pursuit through busy Las Vegas streets
An intense chase near Downtown Las Vegas ends after gunfire is exchanged as the suspect flees on busy streets and ends up near an elementary school. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Man shot strolling through park
A man was hospitalized early Tuesday morning after being shot while walking in a central Las Vegas park. Las Vegas police say the man and a woman were in Molasky Park just after midnight when the man was shot. The pair ran to a nearby supermarket where a security guard called for help. The man was hospitalized and as of 3 a.m. was in stable condition. Police have yet to identify the shooter and no suspects are in custody.
Police investigating shooting at east valley apartment complex
No one was injured late Monday night after someone fired shots at a vehicle at an east valley apartment complex. Police responded just before midnight to the Hamptons Apartments, 3070 S. Nellis Blvd. Someone fired shots at a vehicle that was leaving the complex, and struck the vehicle. Another bullet struck a nearby apartment building. The shooter or shooters remain at-large.
Hundreds Attend Slides, Rides and Rock and Roll in North Las Vegas
Hundreds attended the inaugural slides, rides and rock and roll event in North Las Vegas Saturday. The event featured a car show, water slide park and live music. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
It's All Rainbows At The Center's New Cafe
The Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada (The Center) introduced its new coffeeshop, Little Rainbow Cafe, in June. Rainbows are everywhere, even in the lattes and toast, and employees wear t-shirts with the quote "Be a rainbow in someone's cloud." Owner Ben Sabouri said the concept is "built around the idea of, you know, be kind and treat everybody the same." (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get a Rainbow Latte at the The Center's Little Rainbow Cafe
The Center, a community center for the LGBTQ community of Southern Nevada, has a new cafe. Little Rainbow Cafe serves up a pride-inspired signature "Rainbow Latte." (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pedestrian killed trying to cross Sahara
A pedestrian was killed Friday trying to cross Sahara Avenue near Maryland Parkway about 5 a.m. A sedan struck the pedestrian while the person was outside the crosswalk between Maryland Parkway and Pardee Place, according to Las Vegas police. Police also said the driver of the sedan remained at the site of the crash. The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene. This is the 75th fatal crash that Las Vegas police have investigated in 2018.
Man shot multiple times
Las Vegas police are investigating after a man was shot multiple times early Friday morning. The shooting was called in about 3:20 a.m. at the Harbor Island Apartments, 370 E. Harmon Ave., near Koval Lane. The man was hospitalized and is expected to survive, but police are still searching for the shooter.
Former Military Police Corps Officer Celebrates 100th Birthday
Summerlin resident Gene Stephens, who served as a military policeman in WWII and escorted then-Gen. Dwight Eisenhower and President Roosevelt during the war, turned 100 on July 13, 2018. He credits his longevity to living a normal life, exercising regularly and eating three square meals a day. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Motorcyclist suffers serious injuries
A motorcycle rider was seriously injured Tuesday night after a crash on Charleston Boulevard. The crash was reported just before 10 p.m. near Durango Drive, according to Las Vegas police. The motorcyclist was hospitalized with unknown injuries but is expected to survive. Las Vegas police are investigating the cause of the accident.
CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara Has Lunch With Students
New Clark County School District superintendent Jesus Jara continued his listening tour by having lunch with students at Red Rock Elementary School as part of the district's summer lunch program. In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, children under the age of 18 can find a free lunch at 104 different locations across the valley through the summer months. Jara highlighted the free program and the importance of eating healthy during his visit. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Timeline Leading Up to Scott Dozier's Execution
Scott Dozier is set to be executed by lethal injection the night of July 11 at Ely State Prison. Dozier was convicted of the April 2002 killing of 22-year-old Jeremiah Miller and was given the death penalty in Oct. 2007. In 2016 Dozier asked in a letter to District Judge Jennifer Togliatti requesting that he “be put to death.” A three-drug cocktail of midazolam, a sedative; the painkiller fentanyl; and cisatracurium, a paralytic, is expected to end his life. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Program Helps Mothers Battling Addiction
Jennifer Stanert has battled drug addiction on and off for the last 21 years. It caused her to lose custody of one of her children, Alec, after she gave birth while high. A new program at Dignity Health St. Rose Dominican Hospitals aims to connect mothers like Stanert with community resources and provide case management services while still pregnant to get connected to lactation and parenting classes, group peer support and education on neonatal abstinence syndrome. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Felon caught with guns in Mandalay Bay room 3 years before Las Vegas shooting
A felon was caught with guns in a Mandalay Bay hotel room three years before the October 1st mass shooting. Six weapons were found inside Kye Aaron Dunbar’s 24th floor room in November 2014. Four were semi-automatic. One was a scoped rifle pointing toward the Strip, according to court documents. Dunbar was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison for unlawful possession. The case just came to light in a lawsuit accusing Mandalay Bay of negligence in connection with the Oct. 1st shooting.
Illegal fireworks in the Las Vegas area garner complaints
Clark County received nearly 25,000 complaints over the Independence Day holiday on a new illegal fireworks site. Reports from the site led to at least 10 illegal fireworks busts across the valley overnight. As of Thursday morning, the county is still compiling the total number of citations issued.
House fire displaces 2 people
Two people were displaced after a house fire early Thursday morning. The fire, at 963 Temple Drive in east Las Vegas, was reported just after midnight, according to a battalion chief from the Clark County Fire Department. Crews from the North Las Vegas and Las Vegas fire departments also were called in to help. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
"Red White and Boom" July 4 Fireworks at the Stratosphere
Full video of the Fourth of July "Red White and Boom" fireworks show at the Stratosphere as seen from the 8th floor Elation Pool. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
July 4th fireworks at the Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite
July 4th fireworks at the Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite. (7-04-18) (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Crowds Enjoy Fireworks at the Stratosphere
Revelers enjoyed watching fireworks displays from the Stratosphere's 8th floor Elation pool on July 4. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pedestrian killed in Henderson
A pedestrian trying to cross St. Rose Parkway at Bermuda was hit by a vehicle on Tuesday night and later died. The crash was reported around 11:30 p.m. Las Vegas police responded initially, but handed over the investigation to Henderson police once it was determined the accident happened in their jurisdiction. Las Vegas police did respond to a report of a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle on the Strip. The person, who was hit by a BMW near Fashion Show mall, suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries.
USPS owes $3.5 million for using Vegas Statue of Liberty on stamp
The United States Postal Service has been ordered to pay $3.5 million to a sculptor after using the Las Vegas replica of the Statue of Liberty in a stamp. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Officer Brent Horlacher shoots at Jessie Murillo
Las Vegas police video of an officer-involved shooting on June 29, 2018. Officer Brent Horlacher, 28, fired a single shot at suspect Jessie Murillo. Murillo was not injured. The radio audio is of the officer who fired the gun and the body camera video is from a different officer. Radio audio excerpts are added to the video and are not the precise times the audio was spoken.
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
UNLV professor cautions dangers of distracted walking
An alarming number of adults do not cross the street safely according to a study conducted by professor Tim Bungum of the School of Community Health Sciences at the UNLV. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas-Review Journal) @brokejournalist
Car left in remote desert 21 years is recovered for late owner's children
Showboat casino blackjack dealer Mark Blackburn died outside of White Hills, Ariz. 21 years ago. His 1980 Datsun B310 wagon remained in the remote desert until a network of volunteers recovered the car for his children. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Resort on Mount Charleston Sold for $4.8 million
North Carolina couple and hoteliers Deanna and Colin Crossman have purchased the Resort on Mount Charleston for $4.8 million. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Restoring classic Corvettes to perfection
Members of the National Corvette Restorers Society Convention talk about what it takes to earn the NCRS Top Flight Award for a restored Corvette at South Point in Las Vegas on Tuesday July 17, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Clark County recount votes in commission’s District E primary
Clark County staff begin the recount requested by candidate Marco Hernandez in the democratic primary for the County Commission's District E seat on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Long-running local hip hop producer wants Vegas rappers to shine
Las Vegas Hip Hop producer and co-owner of Digital Insight Recording Studios Tiger Stylz reflects on 30 years of music production in the city. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Construction for new 51s ballpark underway
New home of the Las Vegas 51s is planned to be finished by March 2019 in Summerlin according to team president Don Logan. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like