By Abby Liebing
An official who lost an election in part because of newspaper stories critical of his leadership has been arrested in connection with Saturday’s stabbing death of the journalist who wrote the articles.
Las Vegas police arrested Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles Wednesday night in connection with the murder of investigative reporter Jeff German, KSNV reported.
German had written a series of articles for the Las Vegas Review-Journal about problems in Telles’ office, CNN reported.
After German published his findings months ago about the conflict and turmoil that surrounded his leadership at the public administrator’s office, the 45-year-old Telles, a Democrat, lost his re-election bid in the June primary, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
On Saturday morning, the 69-year-old German was found dead with stab wounds outside his home, the Review-Journal reported.
The Las Vegas police made the homicide investigation a top priority and also asked for the public’s help in identifying any possible suspects.
The police also released an image of a red GMC Yukon Denali that was possibly connected to the homicide suspect, the Review-Journal reported.
On Tuesday evening, reporters saw Telles in his driveway standing next to a vehicle that matched the police description.
The police executed an early morning search of Telles’ home on Wednesday, indicating that German’s killing might have been related to his reporting on Telles, particularly since the journalist had filed a public records request for more county documents in pursuit of a possible follow-up story about Telles.
Police questioned Telles while they searched his home and towed his cars away.
When Telles later returned home on Wednesday afternoon, he went inside his house and did not respond to reporters’ questions.
“Robert Telles just arrived at his house. Reporters asked him if he had any comment. I asked why police towed his vehicle. He had no comment,” Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Brett Clarkson tweeted, along with a video of Telles entering his garage wearing flip-flops and what appeared to be a hazmat suit.
A few hours later, police in tactical gear surrounded Telles’ home and he was arrested.
Las Vegas Justice Court records show that Telles was scheduled for an initial court appearance on Thursday afternoon, the Review-Journal reported.
“The arrest of Robert Telles is at once an enormous relief and an outrage for the Review-Journal newsroom,” Executive Editor Glenn Cook said, according to the Review-Journal. “We are relieved Telles is in custody and outraged that a colleague appears to have been killed for reporting on an elected official.”
“Journalists can’t do the important work our communities require if they are afraid a presentation of facts could lead to violent retribution. We thank Las Vegas police for their urgency and hard work and for immediately recognizing the terrible significance of Jeff’s killing,” Cook added.
“Now, hopefully, the Review-Journal, the German family and Jeff’s many friends can begin the process of mourning and honoring a great man and a brave reporter.”
The stories on Telles were not German’s only controversial topics. His work at the newspaper spanned four decades, the Review-Journal said, and he “made a career of breaking big stories about everything from organized crime and government malfeasance to political scandals and the Oct. 1  mass shooting.”
Author: Abby Liebing
Source: Western Journal: Democratic Official Arrested on Suspicion of Murdering Prominent Journalist