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WE MIGHT HAVE FOUND A DEMOCRAT WHO DID SOMETHING BAD, LIKE MURDER
Also, might be innocent! It could happen!
Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative journalist Jeff German was found dead outside his home Saturday morning; police said he had been stabbed to death sometime Friday morning during an "altercation with another person." On Wednesday, police served warrants at the home of Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles — A DEMOCRAT! For real! — who lost his bid for reelection earlier this year after reporting by German (pronounced with a hard "g," not like the nationality) detailed scuzzy goings-on in Telles's office. Police issued a statement confirming they had served warrants in the case, but said "No further information will be provided at this time."
German, 69, had been a reporter in Las Vegas for 40 years, working at the Las Vegas Sun and then, since 2010, at the Review-Journal. He was one of those indispensable local news busybodies who dug up all sorts of dirt and corruption, reporting on the mob, casinos, politicians, and exactly the sort of people who'd rather not have news come out about them.
On Monday, Metro Police released photos of a suspect in the murder, who wore a big old-lady straw hat and a bright orange long-sleeved shirt with reflective tape, the perfect thing to wear in Las Vegas during a heat wave. We aren't sure: Could that hat fit on this head, from Telles's Twitter profile?
Police also released a photo of a maroon GMC Yukon Denali with a sunroof that they said was connected to the suspect. As local CBS affiliate reporter Vanessa Murphy noted on Twitter this morning, the police photo looks a heck of a lot like the SUV parked right outside Telles's house during the search.
“We’re outside the home of Clark Co. Public Administrator Robert Telles. @LVMPD is executing a search warrant in connection with the murder of investigative journalist Jeff German. German had done several stories on Telles. Suspect vehicle on left. Car in his driveway on right.”
— Vanessa_Murphy (@Vanessa_Murphy) 1662573831
This is one of those stories where we keep checking Twitter to see if there's been an arrest while we're typing, is what we're saying, although we will scrupulously note that Telles has not yet been named as a suspect in German's murder. This is where you, dear reader, pound the table and shout "GUILTY! GUILTY! GUILTY!"
German reported in May that Telles's office, which deals with the property of people who die with no will and no immediate family, had been "mired in turmoil and internal dissension over the past two years, with allegations of emotional stress, bullying and favoritism." Employees in the office said Telles had created a hostile work environment, and also that he had had an "inappropriate relationship” with one of the staffers, Roberta Lee-Kennett, who they said had benefited from favoritism.
Just to make things especially melodramatic, some employees had videotaped Telles and Lee-Kennett "meeting in the back seat of her car at a parking garage," no doubt because the acoustics were especially good for doing work stuff. German dutifully noted that both of them — they're married, but to other people — "strongly denied" being anything more than friends, as one does when videotaped in the back seat of a car doing innocent stuff.
Telles also said that any accusations about him were just exaggerations by disgruntled people who resented that they no longer had free rein to do as they wanted in the office, because he was doing such a great job and all his new hires were happy and productive, don't you see.
Nonetheless, after German's stories came out, Rita Reid, the top supervisor in the office, went and ran against Telles in the Democratic primary, which she won; Telles came in third , behind a candidate who had no fundraising and hadn't actually campaigned. Ouch. Before the June primary, Telles had posted a long angry letter titled "Addressing the False Claims Against Me" to his campaign website; in it, he attacked the Review-Journal 's reporting and claimed that staff aligned with Reid had harassed other employees in his office. Very normal stuff:
“After my opponent from the office (Reid) announced her candidacy, her supporters in the office began to ramp up interference with our operations,” Telles wrote. “After the article, this included harassing other employees in the office. Tragically, these other employees have suffered mental and physical effects.”
Telles said Reid was “counting on a win so she can shield her supporters from being disciplined for their actions against the other employees the past couple of months.”
Telles also railed against German on his Twitter account, calling him a bully and accusing German of being obsessed with ruining him:
“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. 😜”
— Rob Telles (@Rob Telles) 1655564292
He seems nice. We'll let you know what happens next, probably ten minutes after this story goes up.
UPDATE: As folks have pointed out in the comments, which are not allowed,Telles was arrested Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of murder, and will be formally charged on Thursday.
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