Robert Telles is a Clark County elected official arrested on Wednesday, September 7, 2022, in connection with the murder of Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German, the newspaper reports. German was killed on September 2, 2022, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police said in a press release.
According to the LVRJ, German was found outside of his home in the 7200 block of Bronze Circle around 10:30 a.m. “He had apparently been involved in an altercation with someone the previous day that led to his being stabbed,” the outlet reported.
Telles, a Democrat, lost in a June primary election and his term as a Clark County public administrator is set to end on December 31, according to the Review-Journal. Telles, who is also a lawyer focusing on probate and estate law, has held the position in the Nevada county office since 2018, according to his website. Telles was the subject of German’s reporting during his failed re-election bid and he had tweeted angrily at German prior to the reporter’s death.
Here’s what you need to know about Robert Telles and the murder of Jeff German:
1. The Suspect in the Killing of Jeff German, Who Was an Investigative Reporter Focused on Crime & Politics in Las Vegas, Was Caught on Video, Police Said
German worked for both the Las Vegas Sun and the Las Vegas Review-Journal during a four-decade journalism career in Las Vegas. One of his most famous subjects was the 1998 death of casino executive Ted Binion, which led to his book, “Murder in Sin City: The Death of a Las Vegas Casino Boss.”
“Quite truthfully, he was a fearless reporter,” veteran criminal defense attorney Tom Pitaro, told the LVRJ shortly after German was killed. “If a story was there, he didn’t care who it was. Christ, look at the people he went after, that he’s written stories about. Let’s face it, there was no one he would back off. … He was sort of the embodiment of the First Amendment. To have a vigorous First Amendment you need vigorous reporters.”
The suspect in German’s murder was caught on video near the scene wearing reflective orange shirt, a hat and carrying a bag. The video released by police shows the suspect walking down the street near German’s home, according to a press conference.
2. Robert Telles Was a Clark County Public Administrator Who Recently Lost Re-Election
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Telles is a “longtime Las Vegas resident with a political and legal background.” He has been married for more than 10 years and has three children, the outlet reported.
At the time of the murder, Telles still held his position as but that was set to end in January 2023 when Rita Reid, who won the election, will take over. According to the outlet, Telles worked as “an HVAC technician at the College of Southern Nevada before graduating from UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law in spring of 2014.”
On his website, Telles wrote, “Beyond having prior owned his own small business, Rob has worked as a supervisor in both private industry and government settings. Rob has developed a management skillset that helps his team succeed. Rob is an attorney whose area of law was probate before he was elected to office. Rob’s understanding of the law has given him the tools needed to navigate the complicated legal issues in probate cases.”
He added, “Rob is compassionate. He has served nonprofits in various capacities and donated often to worthwhile causes. Rob believes in supporting our community in every way possible. Rob is a family man with a beautiful, intelligent wife and three usually wonderful children.”
The biography on the county website for Telles says:
Robert “Rob” Telles is the duly elected Clark County Public Administrator. Rob’s primary focus is to ensure that the CCPA serves the community as best as possible. Prior to his election, Rob Telles was the principal and founder of a Las Vegas law firm that focused primarily on estate planning and probate matters. Rob has been a Clark County resident for over 20 years. He is happily married and a father of three wonderful children. He is a graduate of UNLV’s Boyd School of Law, where he participated in a number of organizations and competitions that honed his legal advocacy skills and knowledge. Rob has received awards for both his professional work and his community work in Las Vegas. Rob is a longtime Rotarian. He also serves on a number of community boards.
3. German Was Investigating Telles for ‘an Inappropriate Relationship’ He Was Having With a ‘Subordinate Staffer’
It wasn’t until Wednesday, September 7 that the connection between German’s work and his killing was confirmed. According to the Review-Journal, “German’s investigation of Telles this year contributed to the Democrat’s primary election loss, and German was working on a potential follow-up story about Telles before he was killed.”
The initial story, published on May 16, 2022, with the headline “County office in turmoil with secret video and claims of bullying, hostility” was thought to be the reason Telles lost his re-election in June 2022.
An excerpt from German’s reporting states that Telles was having “clandestine meetings” with a staff member. Members of his staff “secretly videotaped Telles and [Roberta] Lee-Kennett after work several times slipping into the back seat of her Nissan Rogue earlier this year in the shadows of a high-rise mall parking garage” in order to prove “offer proof to county officials of the office-dividing relationship”
“I think it’s horrible that they recorded this, and they’re trying to destroy my life and my marriage, when I’m actually infinitely in love with my wife,” Telles told German at the time of publication. “I was just trying to get things off my chest with somebody who understands, and now it’s being framed as though I’m cheating on my wife.”
Prior to his death, the LVRJ reported that German was actively working on a follow-up to the story and had filed a public record request.
4. Telles Was Taken Into Custody & Taken by Ambulance in a Stretcher
The LVRJ reported that Telles was “wheeled out of the home on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance” shortly after police arrived at his home in tactical gear on September 7.
On Tuesday, police revealed a photo of a car which the LVRJ describes as a “2007 to 2014 red or maroon GMC Yukon Denali with chrome handles, a sunroof and a luggage rack.” The car matches what was seen in Telles’ driveway.
“The GMC vehicle and a second vehicle were towed from Telles’ property at about 12:50 p.m on Wednesday,” the outlet reported.
5. Tweets on Telles’ Account Show a Series of Posts Aimed at German: ‘Typical Bully. Can’t Take a Pound of Criticism After Slinging 100 Pounds of BS’
Heavy observed several tweets on Telles’ Twitter account aimed at German around the time of the election.
“*Wife hears rustling in the trash* Her: ‘Honey, is there a wild animal in the trash?’ Me: ‘No, dear. Looks like it’s @JGermanRJ going through our trash for his 4th story on me.’ Oh, Jeff… @LVRJ #LasVegas,” a June 18 tweet reads. A second tweet on the same day says, “Oh shoot. I left a pizza box and sushi containers in the trash. In the next article, I’m going to have mob and yakuza ties.”
A third tweet on June 18 says, “Looking forward to lying smear piece #4 by
@JGermanRJ. #onetrickpony I think he’s mad that I haven’t crawled into a hole and died. @LVRJ #LasVegas.”
A tweet dated June 25 goes a step further and reads, “Typical bully. Can’t take a pound of critism after slinging 100 pounds of BS. Up to article #4 now. You’d think he’d have better things to do.”
The LVMP will be holding a press conference on September 8, Heavy will update on any new developments when they are made available.