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Las Vegas public official is arrested in stabbing death of journalist who wrote stories about him

Jeff German, an investigative reporter with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, was found stabbed to death outside of his home Saturday. Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles was arrested after police searched his house.
/ Source: TODAY

A Nevada county official was arrested Wednesday in connection with the killing of a Las Vegas journalist who wrote a series of unflattering stories about him, just hours after investigators searched the official's house.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said a suspect in the stabbing of Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jeff German was taken into custody Wednesday evening.

Police have not yet publicly named the suspect in German's death.

But officials identified the suspect as Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles to the Las Vegas Review-Journal and The New York Times.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told the Review-Journal Telles had been arrested, and the county's district attorney, Steven B. Wolfson, told The New York Times Telles had been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Telles, 45, was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on suspicion of murder, according to jail records obtained by NBC News. His first court appearance was scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

German, who had written articles about allegations of hostile work environment in Telles' office, as well as an alleged inappropriate relationship with a staffer, was found stabbed to death outside of his home Saturday.

Police said they believed German was killed on Friday during an altercation.

Jeff German
Journalist Jeff German is shown on the Las Vegas Strip on June 2, 2021. He was found dead Saturday.K.M. Cannon / Las Vegas Review-Journal via Getty Images

"The arrest of Robert Telles is at once an enormous relief and an outrage for the Review-Journal newsroom," Review-Journal Executive Editor Glenn Cook said in a statement to NBC News.

"We are relieved Robert Telles is in custody and outraged that a colleague appears to have been killed for reporting on an elected official. Journalists can’t do the important work our communities require if they are afraid a presentation of facts could lead to violent retribution."

Telles' arrest came hours after police searched his home on Wednesday. Telles arrived at his home Wednesday afternoon wearing a white hazmat suit after the initial search was concluded.

Later, police later returned to his house in full tactical gear, and Telles was wheeled away on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance, video footage showed.

Police released surveillance footage Tuesday of a potential suspect wearing a straw hat, bright orange reflective jacket and black gloves in the area before German's killing, as well as a photo of a red GMC Yukon, which was believed to be the suspect's vehicle.

Authorities towed a red SUV from Telles' driveway during the search Wednesday.

Telles could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday, and the Clark County Administrator's Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TODAY.

Telles lost his re-election bid earlier this year following a series of investigative stories published in the Review-Journal.

Telles repeatedly denied the allegations in the stories. The Review-Journal reported Telles had repeatedly lashed out at German on Twitter, calling him a "bully" and saying he thought German was "mad that I haven’t crawled into a hole and died."

The Review-Journal reported German was working on a possible follow-up story about Telles before his death, and had recently filed public records requests seeking emails and text messages between Telles and three other county officials.

German, 69, had worked in journalism in Las Vegas for 40 years, and joined the Review-Journal in 2010.