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January 1999 Article

Exclusively Found in the Insider Viewpoint of Las Vegas

State Gamers
Petition Supreme Court

By: Frank Rosenthal

The state gaming authorities failed to "stay the order" written by the district court that had reversed my dismissal from the industry. They were how-ever relentless with their spin machine. "Frank Rosenthal's reinstatement threatens the very integrity of the entire gaming industry."

Meanwhile, I was settling in assuming my prior responsibilities and hoping that the high court would sustain the lower courts ruling. Nevada politics can be rough, dirty and unpredictable. I was not one of the "good old boys" nor did I attempt to become one of those %#@&%#.

After sorting out and dismissing a handful of rebels within the corporation, I began to proceed with the daily operations of four major Hotel/Casino properties that employed more then 4,000 people. Responsibility and authority can become a double-edged sword. I was not concerned about popularity, nor can an effective top- ranking executive attempt to achieve reverence! It just does not work that way. Firm and fair was our trademark, naturally many would dispute or argue to the contrary. They did not last very long. The Chairman and I held to the theory that there was three ways to operate a public corporation. The right way, the wrong way, or our way.

When the Nevada Supreme Court reviewed the lower courts ruling, they determined the state gamers could not deny my right to work. However, they did reverse my right to function and hold title as a key employee. I was disappointed, so was the state gamers. They wanted blood, and I was looking for survival.  I was forced to step down the ladder for reassignment. Entertainment Director for the Stardust Hotel was now my only responsibility. My salary sank, and my authority became limited. Loads of great looking show girls, the world famous Lido De Paris, and the great team of Siegfried & Roy. All of us seemed to blend in well, notably the girls. The reviews were "greatest production show on earth."

Little did I suspect that the same gang of gaming authorities was preparing for another battle on my right to work in any capacity! They notified me that a hearing date was scheduled to decide whether I was secretly performing in other areas of the casino. One afternoon the President & Chairman of our board called me to his office. They introduced me to a gentleman from Detroit who was the president of a very highly respected investigative firm. Their employees were all former Special FBI agents. The Chairman asked if I would be willing to allow the investigative company to interview any and all personnel within our corporation and beyond.

They further advised me that if the results of their investigation proved or supported the gaming boards charge that I was in fact functioning and exercising authority beyond my limits as the Stardust Entertainment Director they would compel them to disclose their findings. They were asking for a $100,000.00 retainer. The Chairman agreed to the terms, and turned to me for my consent regarding the integrity and conditions of the investigators. The estimated time for a thorough investigation was 2 to 3 months, possibly more. I said okay, I accept!

When the time finally came around and we were twenty-four hours away from the hearing, to be held in the Las Vegas Convention Center, I visited with my attorney to review our presentation before the butchers. We needed two factory mobile platforms for transporting all of the necessary documentation that we had gathered over the ensuing months.

The hearing room was packed, standing room only. The gamers sat behind a long desk and the hearing began. My attorney was Oscar Goodman. He rose to address the &@#%$&# that were leaning comfortably back in their chairs. I wasn't comfortable or confident in spite of the fact that I had met with a dime store attorney named Jay Brown, who was considered to be politically well connected and an associate of my attorney Oscar Goodman. Jay Brown assured me that above all, I would receive a fair and impartial hearing in the unlikely event that one would be ordered.

That promise was one of my main considerations before accepting the conditions and expenses associated with the Detroit team of investigators. "Fair and Square Frank, you have my word on that." That was Jay Brown back then.

Within moments, one of the commissioners on the board made a motion, guilty as charged. "Do I have a second for the motion?" He did! They took the vote. They were unanimous, GUILTY, hearing concluded. We were never given an opportunity to call any witnesses or introduce sworn testimony that would have supported our position. The "Good Old Boys" hung one more on me, and taught me a few lessons. Oh yes, I cursed the &@#%$&#, one by one, however the ball game was over. Home cooking wins again.

One lesson, if I need a friend, I will buy a dog! As for Jay Brown he never returned my calls, and continues to practice his style of &@#%$&#. If I sound bitter, I apologize, I'm really not. Time heals most wounds.

Stay tuned. . .

Frank Rosenthal


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