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In scandal, salacious meets stupid

It’s Friday and I’m debating with my cat what to write about for Monday – something salacious or something positive.

It’s well known that sex sells, and I could easily weigh in on that federal limo case involving the Las Vegas basics: prostitution, drugs and fraud.

The indictment I just read details language used by limo company owner Charles Horky and was certainly quotable – if I was writing for a porn magazine.

Too bad, I didn’t understand it all. I don’t know what a “spinner” is, but apparently it’s a 100-pound woman who does something that probably doesn’t involve a hula hoop. Just guessing.

I learned something about economics from the phone taps quoted in the indictment. For $1,000, prostitutes will show someone a very good time. But the limo folks take 20 percent of that $1,000 and 30 percent if the fees go higher, which didn’t seem fair.

Horky was heard arranging for two women to service his Los Angeles attorney on Dec. 1, 2011. They would make $1,000 each, and it would be a 10-minute job. Nothing fancy. The girls would go in, disrobe, do the deed (my words, not his) and be out in 10 minutes.

“It would be the fastest thousand dollars they ever made,” he said.

I also learned it’s downright dumb to mess with American Express.

One of the reasons Horky, the main owner of CLS Transportation, and eight others were indicted last November was because they were supposedly stealing from American Express by adding fake charges on top of the legitimate charges. When American Express complained and cut them off as a merchant client, Horky and others allegedly decided to keep ripping off American Express by creating new merchant accounts.

The hookers and the johns and the drug dealers and the drug users weren’t likely to complain to law enforcement. American Express, which lost $2.8 million, wasn’t so reserved.

■ ■ ■

Seldom do I shout hooray aloud when reading a news flash from the Las Vegas Review-Journal. (Note: I’m no longer writing about sex. Please don’t stop reading.)

At noon Friday, the Review-Journal’s Lawrence Mower broke the news that developer Jim Rhodes’ project atop Blue Diamond hill is probably not going to be located there, according to Clark County Commissioner Susan Brager, who represents the area.

It may go someplace else if the Bureau of Land Management and federal officials agree to exchange Rhodes’ gypsum mine property for other BLM land that could be less objectionable to locals. So far, that location hasn’t been decided.

I hated the thought of looking toward the mountains on the west side of the valley and seeing a high-end development on ridges atop a hill. Instead of seeing paintbrushed sunsets and dramatic outlines of mountains, the lights of 4,700 homes spread across 2,000 acres would scar the sky.

The residents of the tiny Blue Diamond community at the base of the hill hated the idea even more.

Rhodes’ project would have ruined the lifestyle of Blue Diamond, where people move to get away from it all. The development would have edged the Red Rock National Conservation Area, bringing in more traffic to the area where Las Vegans go seeking peace or exercise.

It’s possible that the next site won’t be embraced by nearby residents either. But the Red Rock area deserves protection from development.

If this all turns out happily-ever-after, Brager will have pleased those who threw verbal sticks at her during public meetings and it could be viewed as one of her major accomplishments as a commissioner.

Hooray for her and hooray for the relentless folks who refused to give up the good fight.

And yes, hooray for Rhodes for agreeing to look elsewhere.

Jane Ann Morrison’s column appears Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Email her at Jane@reviewjournal.com or call her at 702-383-0275. She also blogs at lvrj.com/blogs/Morrison.

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