The Daily Telegraph

Ex-democrat official in murder inquiry

Investigat­ive reporter Jeff German had published an expose of US Democrat Ron Telles’s time in office

- By Rozina Sabur in Washington

Police have searched the home of a former Democratic official in Las Vegas after a journalist who exposed his alleged bullying and “inappropri­ate” behaviour was stabbed to death. Jeff German, 69, a veteran investigat­ive reporter with the Las Vegas Reviewjour­nal, was found stabbed to death outside his home on Saturday night. He had written extensivel­y about Robert Telles, before the 45-year-old lawyer and senior local government official lost his re-election bid in June.

‘It’s hard to imagine what Las Vegas would be like today, without his many years of shining a light on dark places’

POLICE have searched the home of a Democratic official in Las Vegas after a journalist who exposed his alleged bullying and “inappropri­ate” behaviour was stabbed to death.

Jeff German, a veteran investigat­ive reporter with the Las Vegas Reviewjour­nal, was found dead outside his home on Saturday night. Police believe he was fatally stabbed during an altercatio­n the day before.

He had written extensivel­y about Robert Telles, before the 45-year-old lawyer and senior local government official lost his re-election bid in June.

Mr German, 69, was well known in Las Vegas for exposing corruption in public office and organised crime in Nevada’s largest city.

Police released images of an unidentifi­ed suspect wearing a wide straw hat, dark gloves, an orange hi-vis shirt and carrying a dark-coloured bag.

They also released surveillan­ce footage of a maroon truck linked to the suspect. Hours after the footage was released, Las Vegas Review-journal reporters photograph­ed Mr Telles in his drive cleaning a vehicle which appeared to match that descriptio­n.

Police described the vehicle as a red or maroon 2007-2014 model GMC Yukon Denali with chrome handles and a sunroof. Officers were spotted examining a truck matching the police descriptio­n during their search of Mr Telles’s property yesterday.

They also placed a cordon near Mr Telles’s home but declined to give any other informatio­n.

German’s stabbing came after he published a bombshell expose in May alleging Mr Telles’s office had been mired in turmoil amid claims of bullying and favouritis­m.

The months-long reporting included allegation­s by current and former staff that Mr Telles presided over a hostile work environmen­t.

It also claimed Mr Telles had an “inappropri­ate relationsh­ip” with a subordinat­e in his office.

Mr Telles denied the accusation­s saying they were from “old-timers” seeking to block his second term of office.

Staff claimed Mr Telles’s relationsh­ip with a junior employee, Roberta Leekennett, 45, led to her receiving favourable treatment, including being offered tasks beyond her assigned duties.

German’s reporting included a complaint filed with Clark County, which encompasse­s Las Vegas, alleging: “unacceptab­le, disgusting behaviour” by a public servant.

The journalist also obtained footage of Mr Telles and Ms Lee-kennett in the back seat of her car in a secluded multistore­y car park.

German said it had been filmed by disgruntle­d staff who wanted to obtain proof that the pair were engaged in a clandestin­e relationsh­ip.

Ms Lee-kennett and Mr Telles, who are married, have repeatedly denied having an improper relationsh­ip.

The pair said they were friends and that they met in the back of a car to discuss problems in the office.

The Clark County public administra­tor’s office oversees the estates of people who have died. It has eight full-time staff, three part-time staffers, and roughly 15 part-time investigat­ors.

Amid animosity in the office, one of Mr Telles’s subordinat­es, Rita Reid, announced she would run against him.

Mr Telles subsequent­ly lost his reelection bid after coming third to Ms Reid in the Democratic primary for the position of public administra­tor.

That same month, Mr Telles verbally attacked German and The Las Vegas Review-journal in a series of Twitter posts, accusing the reporter of writing “lying smear” pieces.

In another string of tweets, Mr Telles claimed the investigat­ive reporter was “obsessed” with him.

“I think he’s mad that I haven’t crawled into a hole and died,” he wrote in another.

Mr Telles later announced he intended to return to practising law after leaving office in January.

Glenn Cook, the The Las Vegas Review-journal’s executive editor, said that German had never communicat­ed any concerns about his personal safety or any threats made against him to anyone in the newspaper’s leadership.

He said the staff were devastated by their colleague’s killing. German’s career in the city spanned four decades.

“He was the gold standard of the news business,” Mr Cook said in a statement.

“It’s hard to imagine what Las Vegas would be like today, without his many years of shining a bright light on dark places.”

He was a tenacious reporter who “just would not give up”, David Roger, a former Clark County district attorney, told the Las Vegas Review-journal.

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 ?? ?? Reporter Jeff German, above, has been murdered. Left, a suspect in his killing and, below, Ron Teller
Reporter Jeff German, above, has been murdered. Left, a suspect in his killing and, below, Ron Teller

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