Of Rats and Men: From Mob to Mayor

Goodman

Goodman (Photo credit: Thomas Hawk)

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Item No. 2179464

For more than 35 years, Oscar Goodman was the country’s pre-eminent defense attorney for alleged gangsters. His endless client list included Meyer Lansky, Nick Civella, Anthony Spilotro, Frank Rosenthal, Jimmy Chagra, Natale Richichi, Nicky Scarfo, and Vinny Ferrara, along with many others. Though no further connection between Goodman and the Mafia has ever been proved, the famous litigator has often been accused of being more than just a mouthpiece for organized crime. Was Oscar Goodman only what he claims, an attorney who defended his clients based on the simple principle that they, too, have constitutional rights? And if so, how did he manage to mingle with the mob for decades without becoming part of it? After scores of unlikely courtroom victories, Goodman pulled off an even more unlikely career change. Twice elected mayor of Las Vegas, he went from legal spokesman for the most notorious crime figures of our era to political spokesman for the most notorious city in the country.

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