Elected official who was subject of Las Vegas reporter's stories arrested in journalist's death

Police arrested a Nevada politician in connection with the slaying of a Las Vegas journalist who had written stories about the county official, officials said Wednesday.

Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles was taken into custody Wednesday, hours after a search warrant was served at his home by police investigating the death of Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German, officials said.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo confirmed the arrest to the Review-Journal, which first reported the news, and the county’s district attorney, Steven Wolfson, told The New York Times that Telles had been taken into custody.

Telles, 45, was arrested on suspicion of murder, Clark County Detention Center records showed. His initial court appearance was scheduled for Thursday, according to the jail records.

German who reported on alleged bullying and favoritism in Telles’ office, was found stabbed to death outside his Bronze Circle home Saturday. Police said he was likely killed Friday.

German, 69, died of “multiple sharp force injuries,” the Clark County Office of the Coroner/Medical Examiner has said.

“The arrest of Robert Telles is at once an enormous relief and an outrage for the Review-Journal newsroom,” Executive Editor Glenn Cook said in a statement Wednesday night. “We are relieved Robert 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.”

Police released surveillance video showing a possible suspect wearing a wide straw hat and a bright orange reflective long-sleeve shirt.

The potential assailant appeared to be driving a red GMC Yukon, authorities said.

Police cordoned off a block of Spanish Steps Lane and hauled away what appeared to be a red SUV from a home. Telles has a listed address in the 9600 block of Spanish Steps Lane.

Telles could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon. A call into his Clark County office, which oversees the estates of people who die without legal next of kin, bounced to an after-hours answering service.

Telles lost a narrow race for his job in June, when he was ousted in the Democratic primary. He captured 35,279 votes, or 32.4%, finishing just behind one of his top deputies, Rita Reid, who had 37,401 votes, or 34.3%.

Telles was openly hostile at German for publishing reports about bullying and favoritism in his office, the Review-Journal reported.

Tim Stelloh contributed.

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