Don Bauder 9:30 a.m., Sept. 23
Lance Malone, Imprisoned in Strip Club Bribery Case, Opens Las Vegas Pizza Joint
Lance Malone, ex-Las Vegas cop, county commissioner, and bagman for Cheetahs strip club operator Mike Gagliardi, is out of prison and in the pizza business, according to a report by John L Smith in yesterday's Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The by-the-slice operation, "in a bustling strip mall on Las Vegas Boulevard across from Mandalay Bay," is being bankrolled by none other than Dominic Gentile, the famed Las Vegas defense attorney by way of Chicago who represented Malone during his 2005 San Diego trial.
"He named the place in honor of his late father, John Malone, and cherishes the times he's baked homemade pizza with his kids," according to Smith. "The fact Pop's Pizza is wedged into a great location doesn't hurt, either.
"As for how he's getting by after taking a long fall from grace, Malone is obviously a survivor.
"He doesn't pout or dwell on the past, and from outward appearances he emerged from prison in better physical shape than when he entered.
"With a dismissive hand, Malone says, 'That part of it, it's all over. For me, it's done. I'm moving forward.'"
Gentile told the Las Vegas Sun In a March 2010 interview that "Lance Malone is a friend of mine."
"There was a time in this community when the return to the community of a man that has Lance Malone’s integrity would have been celebrated, and he would have been greeted with open arms and embraced.
"Lance Malone was offered the moon to give testimony against other people in this community.
"He did not do so and he would not do so. It would have required him to compromise his own integrity and No. 2 to tell lies. Instead of doing those things, Lance Malone went to prison. "
Yesterday Las Vegas journalist Smith reported he'd contacted Gentile, but didn't get much out of him regarding Malone's now legendary vow of silence.
"Gentile won't comment, but you can also bet a number of powerful people in this community breathed much easier when Malone kept silent despite the government's entreaties."
(A sentencing memo describing Malone's many connections as a policeman, politician, and lobbyist was introduced prior to his sentence in November 2005.)
Ten years ago next month we first reported on the political wheeling and dealing in San Diego's adult entertainment netherworld and at city hall that led to the government's case in what ultimately came to be called "Strippergate."
Besides Galardi and Malone, only one other of the San Diego defendants has gone to prison: ex-city councilman Ralph Inzunza, now doing time at the federal lockup in Atwater, California.