Saturday, September 10, 2022

Investigative Reporter Stabbed to Death By Elected Official

Defeated disgraced Clark County, Nevada Public Administrator ROBERT RICHARD TELLES (NEVADA BAR NO. 13597), a Democrat licensed to practice law since 2015, is being held without bond in a county jail in Las Vegas, charged with stabbing to death investigative reporter Jeffrey German.  

TELLES was defeated for re-election after reporter Jeffrey German and his newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, uncovered TELLES' alleged misconduct in office, including an intimate personal relationship with a subordinate, including details about their alleged trysts in the back seat of an automobile in  a Las Vegas parking garage, videotaped by employees of the Clark County Public Administrator.

German persisted in investigating TELLES, with records requests pending at the time of his murder.

TELLES' Public Administrator's office administers the estates and property of dead people. 

TELLES' DNA on the victim and video of his automobile are two of the items of evidence that allegedly inculpated him in the homicide of Jeffrey German.

The State of Nevada allows jurors to recommend the death penalty in fifteen kinds of cases, with lethal injections now the only lawful means.

I am skeptical of the death penalty and its unequal and freakish administration.  In 1977, my boss, Senator James R. Sasser (D-Tenn.) eloquently hand wrote an  addendum to be added into a draft letter to a constituent, a West Tennessee minister, stating, "As one who was subjected to capital punishment, I wonder how our Saviour would vote on the issue." 

But TELLES' alleged crime is particularly heinous, a hate crime directed against First Amendment protected activity in reporting the news about TELLES. For that reason, absent exculpatory evidence, I would be inclined to "pull the switch."  Footnote: Former Memphis prosecutor Larry Parrish, interviewed for a judgeship, was asked for his opinion on the death penalty, according to one of my late law professors, later  Presiding Judge of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, Joseph Boyles Jones, who reported to our Criminal Procedure II class circa 1985 that Mr. Parrish responded, "I would pull the switch.")

From Politico:   


Local official arrested in Nevada reporter's slaying

Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German was found dead outside his home.

A police officer knocks on the front door of the house of Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles.

LAS VEGAS — A Las Vegas-area elected public official was arrested Wednesday and identified by police as the suspect in the fatal stabbing of a veteran newspaper reporter whose investigations of the official’s work preceded his primary loss in June.

Clark County Public Administrator Robert “Rob” Telles, a Democrat, was taken into custody at his home by a police SWAT unit hours after investigators served a search warrant and confiscated vehicles in the criminal probe of the killing of Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German.

“The suspect in the homicide that occurred on September 2, 2022, has been taken into custody,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Police tweeted shortly before 7 p.m.

Telles, 45, had been a focus of German’s reporting about turmoil including complaints of administrative bullying, favoritism and Telles’ relationship with a subordinate staffer in the county office that handles property of people who die without a will or family contacts.

Telles did not immediately respond Wednesday to telephone messages at his county office, and it was not immediately clear following his arrest if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf. The county administrator office was closed.

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

Telles, a lawyer who practiced probate and estate law, won his elected position in 2018, replacing a three-term public administrator. He lost his June party primary to Assistant Public Administrator Rita Reid. Telles’ term expires Dec. 31.

In the weeks before the election, German bylined reports about an office “mired in turmoil and internal dissension” between longtime employees and new hires under Telles’ leadership.

Telles blamed “old-timers” for exaggerating the extent of his relationship with a female staffer and falsely claiming that he mistreated them.

“All my new employees are super-happy and everyone’s productive and doing well,” he told the newspaper. “We’ve almost doubled the productivity in the office.”

Telles later posted Twitter complaints about German, the Review-Journal reported, including claims in June that German was a bully who was “obsessed” with him.

German, a reporter with a reputation for tenacity, was working on follow-up reports, the newspaper said Wednesday, and recently filed public records requests for emails and text messages between Telles and three other county officials including Reid and consultant Michael Murphy.

Murphy, the former Clark County coroner hired to address complaints about leadership in the public administrators’ office, did not immediately respond to a telephone message.

German’s body was found Saturday morning outside his home. Police said he apparently was killed Friday and characterized the attack as an isolated incident. The Clark County coroner ruled that German died of “multiple sharp force injuries” and ruled the case a homicide.

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