Gunslinging Mayor Goodman shoots, scores against embattled doctors

Call it a score to remember.

Those who might have wondered whether criminal defense attorney-turned-mayor Oscar Goodman had lost his negotiating touch need search no further than this week’s $500,000 scalping and license revocation handed the doctors associated with the embattled Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada for evidence there’s still plenty of gunslinging lawyer left in the guy.

If Goodman had pushed for a $1 million fine, the doctors would have balked. But for $500,000 they avoided some embarrassment, and the City Council looked like leaders on the public health front.

It also left other government entities looking pretty pale on the Endoscopy Center issue.

In all, it was a pretty good day for the City Hall gang.

PIERO’S PARTY: Call it a tasty homecoming.

Sources say Crazy Horse Too owner Rick Rizzolo, recently released from prison and being battered on the Internet in the wake of the death of his critic James “Buffalo Jim” Barrier, returned to Piero’s restaurant and dined like a man without a care in the world.

Accompanied by a group that included his favorite priest, Rizzolo appeared in good physical shape and in fine spirits, sources say.

And why not? The food at Piero’s is a world away from the grub at the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center and the Taft Correctional Institution, where he spent most of the past year on a tax conviction. At Piero’s, the osso bucco is a gourmet’s delight. (I’m guessing that term takes on a slightly different meaning in prison.)

Now that Rizzolo’s back at his favorite table at pal Freddie Glusman’s place, it appears all is right with the world.

“He looked good,” my source says. “It’s like he never left.”

BARRIER SERVICES: A funeral for Barrier is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at Palm Mortuary on Main Street. A viewing is from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. today.

It’s a difficult time for Barrier’s family, but I hope they bring out Buffalo Jim’s oversized bison and place it in the parking lot of the service. Ever the showman, Barrier was proud of his mechanical buffalo.

TAX DAY I: Just in time for the April 15 deadline comes the news that Las Vegas tax return preparer Caroline Reyes has been indicted on 20 counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of false and fraudulent returns. By the government’s count, the false deductions amounted to $348,402 in unwarranted refunds.

Do you suppose this is a gentle reminder to citizens not to take deductions that don’t belong to them?

TAX DAY II: But who needs deductions when you have free beer and barbecue?

Freakin’ Frog owner Adam Carmer can’t help you fill out the appropriate forms, but his bar at 4700 S. Maryland Parkway will charitably contribute brew and ribs to tormented taxpayers on Tuesday.

In a press statement Carmer says, “Freakin’ Frog can’t do anything about income taxes; but we can do something to soften the blow — a free beer to cry into, when you realize just how big a chunk the government took out of your paycheck.”

The barbecue comes courtesy of Adam’s Ribs, which is set to open this month next to the Frog.

PROUD PRINCIPALS: The Clark County School District has plenty of talented principals, but Charity Varnado of Mojave High School and Kathryn Singer of Cadwallader Middle School are a cut above.

Each has been named “Principal of the Year” in Nevada by MetLife, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and the Nevada Association of School Administrators. The distinction is based on a variety of factors ranging from references from parents, teachers and supervisors to the submission of essays on several topics.

Varnado and Singer now will represent Nevada nationally in their respective categories.

ON THE BOULEVARD: The state can’t afford gold stars these days, but Nevada Department of Corrections Director Howard Skolnik deserves one for quickly carving $73 million from the prison construction budget to help offset what is essentially a $1 billion revenue shortfall.

While we’re on the subject, how steep does the state budget deficit have to get before it qualifies as a “long fall”?

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


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