Lately politicians have raised the issue of legalizing prostitution for the purposes of raising much-needed tax revenues, but they won’t find an ally in Sheriff Doug Gillespie.
In a community that markets sex nonstop, you might think Metro’s top cop wouldn’t care much for the subject of policing prostitution.
But in a Review-Journal editorial board meeting Thursday, Gillespie left no doubt about his opinion of the dark realities associated with the activity whether it’s state-sanctioned or not.
"Places that have legalized prostitution still have illegal prostitution," Gillespie said. "I don’t see it as being a financial fix. The other side of it, from my standpoint, I just think it sends a very poor message to the youth. I see the ills of juveniles that are preyed upon in regards to prostitution. It’s not a pretty world. In fact it’s a very ugly world."
Not surprisingly, no elected official has discussed the issue of legalization with Gillespie.
"Those that are wanting to discuss it I’ll be more than happy to participate in the debate," he said.
Something tells me he needn’t wait by the phone.
‘SNEAKY’ SIDDIQUI: The case continues to develop against Ausaf "Omar" Siddiqui, the former Fry’s Electronics executive and casino high roller now under indictment for allegedly scamming $65 million from company vendors to help pay his Strip gambling debts.
Just last week IRS agents working the case served a search warrant at The Venetian, where Siddiqui lost a bundle of money in a hurry.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that a host at one other casino also was interviewed.
John Beckmann of the Palms told the Mercury News reporter he was interviewed for "a couple hours" and was asked about what he recalled was an odd method of debt payment.
Siddiqui, Beckmann said, asked the host to come to The Venetian to pick up checks and take them back to the Palms to pay his rising debts. The checks were from $1.5 million to $2 million.
Beckmann told the reporter, "That’s not common at all. Why would the Venetian do that? That’s the million-dollar question."
It’s a question IRS agents continue to try to answer.
MUSEUM PIECE: Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio is on to something by objecting to using state funds to complete the unfinished, $47 million Nevada State Museum at the Las Vegas Springs Preserve.
But now I’m wondering whether legislators will take issue with Raggio’s own pet projects.
MORE ON KEY: The recent death of Key Fechser, Benny Binion’s wild grandson, has generated warm memories for numerous readers. Here’s one from longtime local Bruce Schowers:
"After reading your column about the death of Key Fecsher, I thought it apropos to relate an incident that occurred over 25 years ago. I had lost my job, when Harrah’s took over the Holiday Casino, as a slot supervisor in 1984. I was lamenting my joblessness one night at the 4 Kegs tavern on Jones Boulevard, when I was approached by a stranger who overheard my beer-induced tribulations. He asked me if I wanted a job in slots at the Horseshoe, and within three days I was working again.
"I’ve been a resident of Las Vegas for 39 years, and I have to admit that was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me."
ON THE BOULEVARD: The late "Jimmy the Greek" Snyder was an amazing character, but confidentially he doesn’t exactly place in anyone’s Top 20 in the world of oddsmaking.
He was, however, a Hall of Fame promoter of Las Vegas as a magical place for gamblers.
ESPN has begun compiling information on Snyder, who was born Dimetrios Georgios Synodinos in Steubenville, Ohio. He died of a heart attack in 1996.
BOULEVARD II: Henderson resident Ken Bomeisl found himself on the cover of USA Today on Thursday in an article about how Americans feel about the economy. Bomeisl says he feels pretty good overall. At 59, he is enjoying his retirement from the New York State Department of Health. … Scott M. Deitche’s latest book of nonfiction is set in part in Las Vegas. It’s titled "Balls: The Life of Eddie Trascher, Gentleman Gangster." … Local author Cathy Scott has just signed a true-crime book deal with St. Martin’s Press. … KVBC-TV, Channel 3’s Kendall Tenney’s Run for A Wish to benefit Make-A-Wish of Southern Nevada drew more than 5,000 participants.
Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? E-mail comments and contributions to Smith@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0295. He also blogs at lvrj.com/blogs/smith/.