US politician arrested after journalist investigating him was killed — Analysis

Las Vegas Democrat officials are accused of stabbing a journalist whose report caused him loss in an election.

On Thursday, a Las Vegas county official was charged with murder after being arrested for allegedly stabbing to kill a journalist. His critical reporting could have led him to lose his re-election bid. Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles has been taken into custody and is being charged with murdering Jeff German, a Las Vegas Review-Journal writer. 

Clark County accounts for about two thirds of Nevada’s population of three million. Telles, 45 years old, is a Democrat whose county office manages the estates and beneficiaries of deceased residents. In June’s party primary, Telles placed third after German wrote a Review-Journal report exposing his poor behavior.

Telles was found in his house on Wednesday, wearing a protective suit made of hazmat material. Telles was taken from the scene on a stretcher, and then loaded onto an ambulance four hours later. 

German, aged 69, was discovered dead at his residence on Saturday. Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo claimed that German was killed the night before. According to surveillance footage, evidence found at the scene and evidence taken from the scene, it was Telles who was already known for his hostility toward the journalist.

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In May, German reported that current and former employees of the public administrator’s office had accused Telles of fueling a “hostile work environment,”Roberta Lee Kennett, estate coordinator, has been accused of bullying, favoritism and inappropriate relationships with subordinates. Telles denied making the allegations, but coworkers secretly videotaped Lee-Kennett and him in her car at a garage. 

These revelations were made possible by a 19-page retaliation lawsuit against Telles filed by Aleisha Goodwin, estate coordinator with the county Office of Diversity. German, who was currently working on a second story at the time, had asked for the texts and emails between Lee-Kennett and Telles, along with two others, to help him.

“We are relieved Telles is in custody and outraged that a colleague appears to have been killed for reporting on an elected official,”  said Glenn Cook, the paper’s executive editor. “Journalists can’t do the important work our communities require if they are afraid a presentation of facts could lead to violent retribution.”

Cook called German, who had been a journalist for 40 years – 12 of them at the Review-Journal – a “great man and a brave reporter”Family and friends will mourn the loss of their loved ones.

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