Last Monday, Jane Ann Morrison reported in the Review Journal that the humble Las Vegas Tribune had once again caused a stir at the Clark County Courthouse.
This time, in what Jane Ann described as a "Memo to the moron in the Clark County district attorney's office: Next time, use Kinko's when you want to fax negative political information about a candidate," a Tribune Editorial critical of the cozy relationship between District Attorney candidate David Roger and Crazy Horse Too topless bar owner Rick Rizzolo was the center of attention.
As Ms. Morrison explained, someone at the DA's office on Thursday faxed copies of last week's Tribune Editorial, "Know David Roger by the Company he Keeps" to news outlets around town with a cover letter suggesting that the other media report the information contained in our Editorial. However, the sender must not have realized that the top of the fax page clearly identified the originating fax machine as being located in the Clark County District Attorney's office!
Now, who would want to distribute a Tribune Editorial that suggested Mr. Bell was turning his back on Metro PD requests for prosecution of employees of Mr. Rizzolo's bar while David Roger was busy accepting more than $40,000 from Rizzolo's adult business owner friends? We certainly don't believe that Roger's opponents Mike Davidson or Abbi Silver had anything to do with this. (Bell is running for Judge. It is not yet known whether he has also accepted donations from Rizzolo and his pals.)
It was pretty disgusting that our Editorial had to be brought to everyone's attention in this sneaky way, but the part that troubles us most is a remark made by Bell in Jane Ann's story: "We respect people's First Amendment rights to support candidates, but they're prohibited from doing it on county time and using county equipment. If we identify the person, they are subject to disciplinary action." Hmmmm.
This is the same Stewart Bell who has, up until now, refused to provide any "disciplinary action" toward Mr. Rizzolo's steroid bouncers who are reportedly breaking people's necks or allegedly beating people to death - the exact subject of the sneaky fax!
Why now is Mr. Bell ready to jump into action on something so insignificant as a phantom faxer in the face of what the Tribune has often described as "Carnage on Industrial Road?" Perhaps he should read the Editorial that was faxed from his office before he devotes taxpayer's time and money to trying to uncover the fax crazed culprit.
We think that the DA may have his priorities a little screwed up.
We wish he would use this opportunity to look into the Crazy Horse beatings because we are becoming a little tired of printing disgusting pictures of beat up or passed out guys on our front page to get his attention.
Yes, its illegal to use the DA's fax machine to berate political candidates, but it is also illegal to allegedly beat people or kill them with absolutely no response coming from the highest law enforcer in the county, the District Attorney!
If Mr. Bell had read our Editorial, he would have been informed that On May 24, 2001, police submitted a request for prosecution to the DA who obtained warrants for four of Rizzolo's employees charged with robbery, battery and conspiracy to commit robbery and coercion in the case of Kenneth Kirkpatrick. Bell has not yet responded.
If he read the middle of our Editorial, he would have found out that on October 4, 2001, Metro requested the DA prosecute yet-unnamed employees of the Crazy Horse for the Sept. 20, 2001 attempted murder of Kirk Henry. To date, the DA has not taken action on this request either.
The fax also mentioned the August 2000 case of the 23-year-old son of a politically connected family who was not prosecuted for beating up a 59-year casino owner and his 23-year-old daughter. Police and witness reports clearly identified the assailant, but no action was taken by the DA other than Mr. Roger later going to the punk's mother's place of business to sign autographs at a book signing.
The faxed Editorial also asked the readers to realize that if David Roger is elected to succeed Bell as District Attorney, Roger will be responsible to decide whether to prosecute the employees of his most prolific campaign fundraiser and contributor.
And if Mr. Bell had read the Editorial, he would have learned David Roger had given immunity to confessed heroin dealer Peter Sheridan in trade for testifying in the Binion case - something that was a terrible example for our children to see!
That said - maybe we should start minding our own business so Stewart and David can go out and find the real criminal - the guy or gal who embarrassed them by spreading our Editorial all over town from their office fax machine.
Of course, who are we to criticize? No one at the Tribune is a $75,000 - $100,000 per year political campaign contributor.
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