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Excerpting Oscar: Passages from the former Vegas mayor’s new memoir

Oscar tells the story of his colorful career in his new memoir, Being Oscar: From Mob Lawyer to Mayor of Las Vegas, Only in America.

• Over my 40-year career as a defense attorney, I regularly came into contact with people who lied, cheated and tried to bend the system, so that they would come out on top. Most of them worked for the government.

• They thought the guys I was representing were evil, and even if there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the charges, it didn’t matter because they were guilty of something. The agents felt that the ends justified the means. That’s not what the Constitution says, nor is it what the Bill of Rights is about.

• My dad sensed that I liked to gamble. Early on, he wanted to teach me a lesson that the odds were always against you. When I was 11 years old, he took me to the Chester County Fair, just outside of Philadelphia. The carnies were out and about, the smell of cotton candy floated in the air, and there were all kinds of “games of chance,” waiting for suckers.


Oscar Goodman's Book signings
May 24, 11 a.m., 1 & 3 p.m.
Mob Museum, 229-2734

• The idea that Tony Spilotro and Lefty Rosenthal weren’t getting along, or that Spilotro was sleeping with Rosenthal’s wife, never occurred to me. I didn’t have an inkling; both were my clients, and neither one said anything that indicated they were at odds.


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