Civil servant arrested in the United States after the death of a journalist who was investigating him

An elected official from the Las Vegas area in the United States has been arrested on suspicion of stabbing to death a veteran journalist who was investigating him.

Democrat Robert Telles, Clark County public administrator, was taken into custody by a Swat police team on Wednesday – hours after investigators served a search warrant and confiscated vehicles.

The 45-year-old had been the subject of Jeff German, a reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, who wrote about complaints of administrative intimidation, favoritism and Telles’ relationship with a county office aide. , which manages the property of deceased persons. without a will or family.

The newspaper’s editor, Glenn Cook, said “Robert Telles’ arrest is both a huge relief and an outrage to the Review-Journal editorial staff”.

Investigative reporter Jeff German was stabbed to death over the weekend (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal/AP)

“We are relieved that Robert Telles is in police custody and outraged that a colleague appears to have been killed for whistleblowing an elected official,” Mr Cook said.

Telles did not immediately respond to phone messages from his county office on Wednesday, and it was not immediately clear after his arrest whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

The county administrator’s office was closed.

Mr. German joined the Review-Journal in 2010 after more than two decades at the Las Vegas Sun, where he was a columnist and reporter covering the courts, politics, labor, government and organized crime.

A police officer stands by the front door of Robert Telles' Las Vegas home
A police officer stands by the front door of Robert Telles’ Las Vegas home (John Locher/AP)

Telles, a probate and inheritance lawyer, won his elected post in 2018, replacing a public administrator for three terms.

He lost his June party primary to Deputy Public Administrator Rita Reid.

His term expires on December 31.

In the weeks leading up to the election, Mr. German pointed to reports of an office “bogged down in turmoil and internal dissension” between long-serving employees and new hires under Telles.

Telles blamed the “elders” for exaggerating the extent of his relationship with an employee and falsely claiming that he abused them.

“All of my new hires are super happy and everyone is productive and doing well,” he told the newspaper.

Telles, right, speaks with Mr. German in his Las Vegas office on May 11, 2022
Telles, right, speaks with Mr. German in his Las Vegas office on May 11, 2022 (KM Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal/AP)

“We have almost doubled productivity in the office.”

Telles then posted complaints on Twitter about Mr. German, the Review-Journal reported, including claims in June that he was a bully and “obsessed” with him.

Mr. German, a journalist known for his tenacity, was working on follow-up reports, the newspaper reported Wednesday, and recently filed public records requests for emails and text messages between Telles and three other county officials, including Ms. Reid and consultant Michael Murphy. .

Mr. Murphy, the former Clark County coroner hired to handle complaints about leadership in the Office of Public Administrators, did not immediately respond to a phone message.

Mr. German’s body was found on Saturday morning outside his home.

Police said he was apparently killed on Friday and called the attack an isolated incident.

Telles washes his car outside his home on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 in Las Vegas
Telles washes his car outside his home on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022, in Las Vegas (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal/AP)

The Clark County coroner said Mr German died of ‘multiple stab wounds’ and ruled the case a murder.

After police on Monday asked for the public’s help in identifying a suspect, developments came quickly.

On Tuesday, officers showed a brief video of a potential suspect walking down a sidewalk dressed in bright orange “work gear” and handed out a photo of a distinctive red or maroon GMC Yukon Denali SUV with chrome handles, a sunroof and a luggage rack, saying it might have been related to the case.

Telles was seen in newspaper photos washing a similar vehicle parked in his driveway on Tuesday, and KTNV-TV reported that the vehicle was towed away after police arrived on Wednesday.

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