Authorities are seeking to remove from office an elected — and now jailed — administrator accused of killing Las Vegas investigative journalist Jeff German, officials said Tuesday.
Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles, whose office handles the affairs of people who die without clear heirs or estate plans, "has neglected to perform" his duties, the county said in a statement.
Even though he is in jail, Telles is still head of the agency, although his name was nowhere to be found on the office website Tuesday. He was still listed on the Clark County website on a page of elected officials.
“Clark County has taken the first step in asking the court to remove Robert Telles from elected office as the Public Administrator," the county said in the statement. "In filing with the court at the direction of Clark County, District Attorney Steve Wolfson has set the process in motion."
The statement continued: "The next step would be for the court to take action and declare that Robert Telles has neglected to perform the official duties of the office and to remove him. Upon the Court’s order, Clark County would be able to formally appoint his replacement until voters elect a new Public Administrator this November.”
Telles was already set to leave next year.
Telles lost a narrow race for his job in June, when he was ousted in the Democratic primary. He won 35,279 votes, or 32.4%, finishing just behind one of his top deputies, Rita Reid, who had 37,401 votes, or 34.3%.
German, 69, had written stories about allegations of bullying and favoritism in Telles’ office, and Telles was angry that German was pursuing other stories of possible misdeeds, police said.
At a brief pretrial hearing Tuesday, Telles told the court he understood the charges but did not enter a plea.
Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Pro Tem William Jansen set a preliminary hearing for Oct. 26 to determine whether there's enough evidence to order Telles to stand trial.
Telles' lawyers declined to answer reporters' questions as they left court Tuesday.