Las Vegas official arrested for murder of journalist

(CNN) – Anger erupts in a Las Vegas newsroom – and questions swirl far beyond freedom of the press in America – after a county elected official was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the murder of a veteran journalist who had reported on the official’s alleged wrongdoing, his newspaper said.

Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles — who is the subject of investigative reporting by Jeff German of the Las Vegas Review-Journal — has been arrested, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told the Review. -Newspaper, days after German was found stabbed to death outside his home.

“We are… scandalized that a colleague seems to have been killed for having denounced an elected official. Journalists cannot do the important work that our communities need if they fear that reporting the facts will lead to violent retaliation,” the newspaper’s editor, Glenn Cook, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Telles is suspected of murder and is scheduled to appear in court Thursday afternoon, according to Clark County Jail online records. Telles has not been publicly linked by police to German’s death; CNN has contacted the Las Vegas Metro Police Department and Telles’ office and is working to determine his legal representation.

“Las Vegas law enforcement should conduct a prompt and thorough investigation into the murder of journalist Jeff German, determine whether he was targeted for his work, and hold those responsible to account,” the Committee for Justice said this week. the protection of journalists.

Police are expected to provide further updates on their investigation on Thursday.

Uniformed officers and police vehicles were seen outside Telles’ home on Wednesday, according to local media. Las Vegas police confirmed that officers had issued search warrants for German’s death, but did not immediately provide additional information.

According to the Review-Journal, German had been working on an article for Telles the week he was killed. Earlier this year, Telles was the subject of articles detailing his surveillance of his office, and German reported that Telles created a hostile work environment and had an inappropriate relationship with a staff member.

Telles denied the reports, the Review-Journal said. First elected to the position in 2018, Telles lost his re-election bid in a Democratic primary in June.

“The arrest of Robert Telles is both a huge relief and an outrage to the Review-Journal newsroom,” Cook, the editor, said on Wednesday.

“We thank the Las Vegas police for their urgency and hard work and for immediately recognizing the terrible significance of Jeff’s murder. Now hopefully the Review-Journal, the German family and Jeff’s many friends can begin the process of mourning and honoring a great man and brave journalist. Good luck, Jeff.

Police asked for the public’s help

German was discovered outside his home on Saturday morning, and police suspect the murder may have taken place earlier. Authorities have asked those in the area to review all outdoor surveillance cameras beginning Friday between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. to possibly capture a better look at someone who may have been involved in the killing.

According to Las Vegas police, a potential suspect “was potentially locking down the area for further crimes before the homicide occurred.” Surveillance footage of someone wearing a bright orange shirt and wide-brimmed hat has been released, along with a photo of what appears to be a brown GMC SUV.

Colleagues of German examining Google Maps noticed a brown SUV similar to the photo released by authorities in Telles’ driveway, said Arthur Kane, a Review-Journal reporter who had worked with German.

“Police came down and cordoned off the area, started searching his house,” Kane told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Wednesday. The SUV was registered to Telles’ wife, Kane said, and the vehicle was taken away by investigators.

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