Government witness has some choice words for former mob colleagues

Memo from Frank Cullotta to his critics: Get stuffed.

Recent columns on mob-tough-guy-turned-government-witness Frank Cullotta generated no shortage of opinions from his former friends and enemies. A couple of the printable statements were published in last Friday’s column. They have motivated Cullotta to respond.

I know what you’re thinking: Can’t these people just shoot it out on the street and get it over with?

No, that would be uncivilized.

As if I needed reminding, Cullotta says, “First of all, I wasn’t put in this world to win a popularity contest at any time in my life.”

He means his life as a hoodlum and member of Tony Spilotro’s mob crew and his life as a reformed hoodlum and cooperating witness. Spilotro and his brother, Michael, were murdered in 1986.

“Second,” he adds, “all these wanna-be gangsters and tough guys, they can say what they want, but they were never in my shoes.

“Third of all, Tony’s best friends killed him. The worst thing I could have done to Tony is put him in jail. But Tony and them had a contract on me and would have killed me. If Tony would have went to jail, he never would have died.”

PRIEST ACCUSED: The Rev. Robert Petekiewicz, formerly of Our Lady of Las Vegas Catholic Church, is being sued in New York, accused of sexually and physically abusing a 9-year-old boy in 1985. The New York Post first reported the lawsuit, which was filed in Queens Supreme Court by an attorney for Philip Franco, now 33.

Petekiewicz’s tenure at Our Lady was at times controversial. After a church bookkeeper in 2005 noticed “improprieties in donations and other funds,” the employee sued, alleging retaliation by Petekiewicz.

In 2006, a large number of OLLV parishioners complained about his lack of professionalism and vindictive nature.

An inquiry by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas into bookkeeping practices and the interaction between Petekiewicz and OLLV principal Richard Martinez led to changes at the parish. Both men were asked to resign. Petekiewicz left the church in June 2006, and Martinez followed not long afterward.

In a lawsuit filed in Clark County, Petekiewicz was accused of physically assaulting two students.

ST. BALDRICK’S BASH: Times are tough, but the intrepid gang at McMullan’s Irish Pub is pressing on with its annual St. Baldrick’s hair-cutting fundraiser to help fight childhood cancer. Last year, the event raised $201,000 with 90 percent of the funds remaining in the community in the form of a grant to local pediatric cancer clinics.

My cancer-fighting daughter, Amelia, will once again shave my head during the event, and you can be part of her team with a simple donation. (And if you need one, it’s also a good excuse to drink a Guinness on a Saturday afternoon.)

The event is set to start at 2 p.m. March 7 at McMullan’s at 4650 W. Tropicana Ave. and also at Quinn’s Irish Pub at the Green Valley Ranch.

MONKEY BUSINESS: While other nonprofits struggle and fail, the humble, lovable Las Vegas Zoo on Rancho Drive rolls right along. It improves slowly, continues to expand, and maintains its relationship with larger zoos year after year.

And it does so without a group of wealthy Las Vegans throwing money at it or embracing it. On the contrary: Many have rejected it because of its location and lack of social status.

Pat Dingle, the zoo’s executive director, pays his bills and keeps a small staff employed without the benefit of the local champagne set.

He’d like the zoo to be much larger, but to date no wealthy benefactor has swooped in to embrace his project. And he’s seen what dealing too closely with the city and other government entities can do. The city, you may recall, once set aside land for a large zoo project. Some of that land now has houses on it.

I’ve always admired Dingle’s tenacity and love for his job.

What’s his secret? Small salaries and small egos, I suspect.

The little zoo that refuses to quit draws about 50,000 customers per year.

ON THE BOULEVARD: The wind from Pikes Peak blows a little colder now that one of America’s feistiest dailies, The Rocky Mountain News, has died after 150 years. Today marks its final edition.

Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? E-mail comments and contributions to or call (702) 383-0295. He also blogs at

Officer-involved shooting in Nye County
The Nye County Sheriff's Office gives information about a shooting in Pahrump on Thursday night after a man began firing shots outside of his home. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Law Enforcement Active Shooter Training Exercise
Multiple Las Vegas Valley law enforcement agencies held an active shooter drill at the Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation office on December 6, 2018. Officials set up the training exercise to include multiple active shooters, a barricaded suspect and multiple casualties. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Public memorial service for Jerry Herbst
Archiving effort hits milestone at Clark County Museum
The Clark County Museum catalogs the final item from the bulk of Route 91 Harvest festival artifacts. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Final Route 91 Harvest festival remembrance objects catalogued at Clark County Museum
The last of the more than 17,000 items left at the makeshift memorial near the Las Vegas sign after the Oct. 1 shootings have been catalogued at the Clark County Museum in Las Vegas. The final item was a black-and-white bumper sticker bearing "#VEGASSTRONG. An additional 200 items currently on display at the museum will be catalogued when the exhibit comes down. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dozier execution timeline
Scott Dozier was set to be executed July 11, 2018, at the Ely State Prison. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez delayed the execution.
Grand Jury Indicts Constable for theft
A Clark County grand jury indicted Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. A Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation prompted the criminal probe. The newspaper found Mitchell wrote himself thousands in checks, took out cash at ATMs and traveled on county funds. He faces four felony counts of theft and a county of public misconduct. Mitchell and his attorney could not be reached for comment.
93-year-old WWII veteran arrested during visit to VA hospital
Dr. S. Jay Hazan, 93, a World War II veteran, talks about his arrest during his visit to VA hospital on Friday, Nov. 30. (Erik Verduzco Las Vegas Review-Journal @Erik_Verduzco_
Pearl Harbor survivor struggles in her senior years
Winifred Kamen, 77, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor as an infant, works a 100 percent commission telemarketing job to make ends meet. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
Man shot in Las Vegas traffic stop had knife, police say
Police said the man fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop in downtown Las Vegas had a “homemade knife.” Demontry Floytra Boyd, 43, died Saturday at University Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds after officer Paul Bruning, 48, shot him during a traffic stop. Bruning pulled Boyd over on suspicion of driving recklessly at 7:41 a.m. near Sunrise Avenue and 18th Street.
Catahoula dogs rescued from home in Moapa Valley
Catahoula dogs were brought to The Animal Foundation after being rescued from home in Moapa Valley.
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses in California wildfire
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses she suffered in California's Woolsey Fire in Malibu in November. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benefit dinner for Kerry Clasby, the Intuitive Forager
Sonia El-Nawal of Rooster Boy Cafe in Las Vegas talks about having a benefit for Kerry Clasby, known as the Intuitive Forager, who suffered losses on her farm in California’s Woolsey Fire in Malibu. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former President George H.W. Bush dies at 94
Former President George H.W. Bush has died at the age of 94. He died Friday night in Houston, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara.
Las Vegans Celebrate Big Snowfall
Las Vegans celebrate big snowfall at Lee Canyon.
Exploring old mines for denim jeans and other vintage items
Caden Gould of Genoa, Nev. talks about his experiences looking for vintage denim jeans and other items in old mines and other places areas across Nevada and the west.
Officers share photo of dead gunman after Las Vegas shooting
A little over an hour after SWAT officers entered Stephen Paddock's suite at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas police officers far from the scene were already sharing cell phone photos of the dead Oct. 1 gunman.
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece. (@FlightAlerts_)
Park Service plans ahead for lower lake levels
National Park Service releases new plans to maintain access to the water as Lake Mead continues to shrink.
Women claim abuse at Florence McClure Women's Correctional Facility
Current and ex-inmates, including Merry West, are suing Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Facility, claiming abuse and inadequate medical care. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Butte County Sheriff's Office Body Cam Footage
Bodycam video from Butte County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office Deputy Aaron Parmley, who was in Paradise November 8 helping with evacuations. (Butte County Sheriff's Office)
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 106
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 160, near Mt. Potosi Road, in Clark County as part of a $59 million, 6-mile-long highway widening project that began this summer. (Nevada Department of Transportation)
Car crashes into Papa Murphy's Pizza shop
A driver crashed a car into a western Las Vegas Valley pizza shop on Tuesday morning, police said. (Joe Stanhibel/Special to Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Low-lake-level pumping station nears completion
Barnard Construction and the Southern Nevada Water Authority give one last tour before the new low-lake-level pumping station is activated.
Trailer: Valley of Fires
Sultan’s Playroom from Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada
Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada’s Scott Rosenzweig talks about granting Sultan Bouras Souissi’s wish, and what went into building it. (John Hornberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jim Marsh brings historic replica of rural church to Amargosa Valley
Jim Marsh talks during the opening of the Chapel at Longstreet, a replica of an 1874 Catholic church built in the mining town of Belmont, Nev., at Marsh's Longstreet Casino in Amargosa Valley, Nev. Chase Stevens/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas Livestock recycling Strip food waste
Las Vegas Livestock collects and recycles food from many Las Vegas Strip companies. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like