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.

Tate Elementary shows academic progress after categorical funding
Students at Tate Elementary in Las Vegas has benefited from a program to boost education funding in targeted student populations, known as categorical funding. One program called Zoom helps students who have fallen below grade level in reading. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Three Square helps TSA workers
Three Square Food Bank donated over 400 care bags to TSA workers affected by the government shutdown Wednesday, filled with food, personal hygiene products and water.
Las Vegas furniture store donates to Clark County firehouses
Walker Furniture donated new mattresses to all 30 Clark County firehouses in the Las Vegas Valley, starting today with Station 22. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
Jesus Jara State of the Schools address
Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara delivers his State of the Schools address on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Naft sworn in to Clark County Commission
Michael Naft, chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to be his replacement on the Clark County Commission, was sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas police piecing together details of fatal shooting
Six hours after the fact, Las Vegas homicide detectives worked to reconstruct the scene of a shooting early Jan. 7 that left one man dead in the southeast valley. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dyer Lawrence explains college football playoff system proposal
Las Vegan Dyer Lawrence has a new idea for a college football playoff system that includes a unique scheduling component called National Call Out Day. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death row inmate Scott Dozier found dead in his cell
Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier is dead. Dozier’s death ends his legal odyssey, which began in 2007 when he was convicted in the 2002 murder of Jeremiah Miller, but does little to clarify what’s next for Nevada’s death penalty.
I-15 southbound near Primm closed after ‘major crash’
A rollover crash Saturday morning involving at least nine vehicles on southbound Interstate 15 near Primm caused an hourslong traffic delay. Traffic was backed up to Sloan, live traffic cameras show. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death Valley visitors deal with shutdown
Visitors staying at the Furnace Creek Campground were forced to move from the campground following health and safety concerns due to lack of resources during the partial government shutdown at Death Valley National Park in Calif., on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph
Half of homicides in Henderson for 2018 domestic violence related
Lt. Kirk Moore of the public information office of the city of Henderson police department speaks to the Review-Journal in Henderson, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Henderson saw a slight increase in homicides in the past year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak stops by Las Vegas Boys and Girls Club
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak kicks off his tour to Carson City, which will take him from Las Vegas, through Tonopah, and up to the capital city. First stop is the Downtown Boys & Girls Club.
Certificates for renewing wedding vows in Clark County
The Marriage License Bureau in Clark County began issuing a Certificate of Vow Renewal to married couples who are renewing their wedding vows on Jan. 3, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas flu season better than last year (so far)
Dr. Fermin Leguen, chief medical officer and director of clinical services at the Southern Nevada Health District, said there were 24 flu-related deaths at this point in the flu season. No deaths have been reported so far this year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Las Vegas Valley’s First Baby of 2019
The first 2019 baby in the Las Vegas Valley was Melialani Chihiro Manning, born at 12:10 a.m. at Henderson Hospital. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Sources: Henderson Constable may face more charges
Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell may face additional charges ... stemming from his spending of county funds, sources said. Mitchell was indicted earlier this month on five felony theft and fraud charges ... after a Las Vegas Review-Journal story questioned his spending. But grand jury records show even more extensive spending including ... an $800 dinner at steakhouse ... nearly 200 atm withdrawals mostly at gambling establishments ... and even Disneyland tickets. But his attorney plans to ask a judge to dismiss the charges.
Las Vegas NYE Restrictions and Enhanced Security
If you are planning to celebrate New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street, be aware that you are not allowed to bring backpacks, coolers, strollers or glass. There will also be an increase in security to ensure safe celebrations across town.
Catholic Charities serves up 53rd annual Christmas dinner
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and more than 100 volunteers served 1,000 Christmas meals to Southern Nevada's homeless and less fortunate. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @kmcannonphoto)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jeffrey Martin Added To Nevada's Black Book
Martin was one of four men convicted of theft and cheating at gambling in 2016 in Clark County District Court and sentenced to prison. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted unanimously Thursday to include Martin in the black book.
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Buffalo Wild Wings security video
Security footage from a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in southwest Las Vegas captured a driver who repeatedly crashed into a vehicle in a failed attempt to squeeze into a tight parking spot.
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Extreme weather closes Scenic Loop in Red Rock Canyon
High winds and flooding closed the Scenic Loop in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area Thursday. Minor flooding across Highway 159 caused drivers to slow, but didn't close the road. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Learning live-saving techniques in Stop the Bleed class
Leslie Shaffer, an AMR paramedic, shows how to control bleeding during a Stop the Bleed course at the Summerlin Library. The class is designed to teach anyone how to control and stop life-threatening bleeding. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tourists enjoy rain in downtown Las Vegas
Tourists break out the umbrellas. But Brian Herting of Lincoln, Nebraska, dons shorts and a T-shirt, as he makes his way through downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Thick fog blanketed Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday
Thick fog blanketed Las Vegas Valley on Tuesday. The National Weather Service.forecast called for a 50 percent chance of rain. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Time lapse video of fog covering the Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is shrouded in fog Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Tony Spilotro's Las Vegas home for sale — VIDEO
The former Las Vegas home of Chicago mob enforcer, Tony Spilotro, is now for sale. Spilotro, who was portrayed by Joe Pesci in the film Casino, is the original owner of the home at 4675 Balfour Drive, built in 1974. (Samia DeCubas/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Buffalo Drive And Mountains Edge Parkway Fatal
Las Vegas police and the Nevada Highway Patrol are investigating a fatal crash in the southwest valley on Saturday afternoon. (Richard Brian/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV's Joel Ntambwe on his play
UNLV forward Joel Ntambwe talks about his play at this point in the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Sam Schmidt chats about hectic off-season
IndyCar team owner Sam Schmidt and lead driver James Hinchcliffe chat about the hectic off-season at the SpeedVegas high-performance driving facility outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, on January 10, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
R-J's Mark Anderson on UNLV's victory
Review-Journal sports reporter Mark Anderson recaps UNLV's victory at New Mexico. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
UNLV's Noah Robotham on the win at New Mexico
UNLV guard Noah Robotham talks about winning at New Mexico on Jan. 8, 2019. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
UNLV's Kris Clyburn on big 3 vs. New Mexico
UNLV guard Kris Clyburn talks about his key 3-pointer against New Mexico. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marvin Menzies on beating New Mexico
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about UNLV's win at New Mexico on January 8, 2019. (Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New HOV Ramp Scheduled to Open in March
New HOV ramp scheduled to open in March of 2019.
American Preparatory Academy part of charter school growth in Las Vegas
American Preparatory Academy in Las Vegas has a waiting list of students who want to attend. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Wheelchair tournament at UNLV
Cesar Robledo talks about wheelchair basketball and what it means for players to compete during the Wheelchair Basketball Division I-II Tournament at UNLV in Las Vegas, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Marvin Menzies on UNLV's trip to Hawaii
UNLV basketball coach Marvin Menzies talks about the upcoming trip to Hawaii. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Pinecrest Academy Horizon principal wins Milken Educator Award
Tony Sanchez on UNLV's recruiting class
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez talks about his early signing class. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Siegel Cares delivers bagels to families in need
Since Thanksgiving, Mark Lenoir of Siegel Cares, has been delivering leftover Bagelmania bagels to families staying at the Siegel Suites.
Dan Barnson steps down
Arbor View football coach Dan Barnson stepped down Friday after 12 seasons at the helm. Under Barnson, the Aggies won 104 games and became one of the top programs in Las Vegas. The Aggies went 12-2 in 2018 and won a region championship for the first time in program history. Barnson loves Friday nights, but said the 12-month commitment was getting exhausting.
NFR 2018 Highlights
NFR 2018 highlights from every round of this years rodeo.
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights
NFR 2018 Round 10 Highlights of the 2018 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo from the Thomas & Mack in Las Vegas, Nevada. (CBS Sports Network/PRCA)
NFR- Joe Frost
NFR Bull Rider Joe Frost talks about the difference in bulls and his family legacy with Cassie Soto before the last round of the National Finals Rodeo.
Herm Edwards on LV Bowl loss
Arizona State coach Herm Edwards talks about the loss in the Las Vegas Bowl. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fresno State linebacker George Helmuth after LV Bowl
Linebacker George Helmuth talks about Fresno State's turnaround. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Tony Sanchez wraps up the UNLV season
UNLV football coach Tony Sanchez wraps up the season. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like