LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — Robert Telles defended his tenure as Clark County public administrator during a jailhouse interview Friday as he stands accused of killing a Las Vegas journalist who reported on allegations against him of misconduct.
Telles spoke with KSNV from Clark County Detention Center, where he is being held without bail on a charge of open murder in the death of Jeff German.
At the outset of the interview, Telles said he would not discuss any specifics about the current criminal case involving German's death.
Instead, he said he wanted to speak about his arrest on suspicion of domestic violence in 2020. He said he is diagnosed with ADHD and has compulsive tendencies, which led to struggles with alcohol in his life.
"She did what she had to when she called the police," Telles said about the 2020 incident.
German had written articles for the Las Vegas Review-Journal going back to May about allegations that Telles had created a hostile work environment in the public administrator's office, played favorites with employees and had an inappropriate relationship with a staffer. Telles denied the allegations for German's reporting at the time.
When asked Friday about the allegations in those reports, Telles maintained they weren't true.
"We actually did great work in the office," he said. "We turned the office around. It was operating very, very well, but unfortunately, there were folks who- and it's a very small office. And that's the thing, you know. One group of folks ... clearly change everything, with enough effort."
Telles was asked what he thought about German's reporting.
"Again, the statements made by the folks in those reports were false," Telles said. "So it's ... it's all I can really say about it. It just wasn't true."
"Did it upset you?" KSNV asked.
"I think anybody in my position would be upset, absolutely," Telles responded, adding, "When you hear some- when you see things published that aren't true and they're essentially attacking your character, I mean, sure, you're gonna be upset, I guess, right?"
Telles lost his bid for re-election in the June Democratic primary for public administrator. The winner of the primary, Assistant Public Administrator Rita Reid, told German in May that she was running for office because of the animosity created by Telles.
Las Vegas police said German was stabbed to death outside his home earlier this month. Investigators looked into who might have been angered by German's reporting and identified Telles as a person of interest.
An SUV identified in connection with a suspect at the scene was connected to Telles, and police got a warrant to search his home and obtain a DNA sample.
The sample matched DNA found on German's body during an autopsy, according to authorities. Investigators at Telles's house recovered shoes and a straw hat that matched those worn by a suspect in video obtained from near German's home, with apparent blood found on the shoes.
Because the position is elected, Telles remains the Clark County public administrator. A spokesman for Clark County said Telles is barred from any county offices and that employees have been working from home as the public administrator's office remains closed.