LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A public administrator in Clark County, Nevada, who faces an open murder charge, could remain in his elected position — with a $130,000-per-year salary — until a new person takes over in January.
Rob Telles, 45, was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the murder of Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German.
German, 69, was found dead on Sept. 3 outside his home. He had published several stories about Telles’ office, saying it was in “turmoil,” in the months leading up to his stabbing death last weekend.
Telles’ DNA was found under German’s fingernails, sources told Nexstar’s KLAS on Thursday.
Voters elected Telles as the county’s public guardian in 2019. The county position runs the office that administers a dead person’s estate if no family is found, or if the family is unable to execute the estate.
That same year, Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak appointed him to the Board of Indigent Defense. The board removed Telles on Friday, its chair said. A spokesperson for the governor said the governor “had signed paperwork” removing Telles as a voting member of the board on Friday.
As of this week, a county spokesperson said leaders were reviewing how to move forward with Telles’ employment.
“For now, he’s still an elected officer. and he’ll get paid while he’s in jail,” Democratic Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom said on Friday, adding the only action he believed the commission could take could be to order a recall vote.
That would require a recall petition and other work, including gathering and verifying more than 100,000 signatures. Before Telles’ arrest, an election was already in the works to choose his replacement because Telles lost in the June primary.
“We can take the scope of work away from him, but as far as him having the title and getting the salary, it is that way, because the voters picked him,” Segerblom said.
Telles could also resign.
Judge Elana Lee Graham denied bail for Telles on Thursday. If a judge sets bail and Telles is released pending trial, he will not have access to his office or other county buildings, officials said.
“People don’t need to worry that the place isn’t being run or he’s still running it,” Segerblom said. Former Clark County coroner Michael Murphy was hired to mend tension in the office earlier this year.
Police took a sample of Telles’ DNA at about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday before searching his home. Detectives then detained Telles and questioned him, releasing him at about 2 p.m. and driving him back to his house.
Nevada law states a person can only be detained for an hour without probable cause.
Telles was taken into custody at about 6:30 p.m. and was found with superficial wounds. Police also suspect that he might have used narcotics in an attempt to die by suicide.
An attorney for Telles did not respond to an email on Friday.
German’s family has set up a donation page to a local charity in his memory. The family chose Three Square, which helps people dealing with food insecurity.