A Las Vegas official charged with the murder of investigative reporter Jeff German, who exposed his affair, told police during his 2020 arrest for abusing his wife and resisting arrest, they wanted to take him down because he is a ‘public official,’ according to body camera footage.
Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles, 45, was arrested on March 1, 2020, after police received a call from Mae Ismael, his wife, alleging he drunkenly grabbed her by the neck and hit her arm as they returned from the Bellagio casino. He allegedly also screamed, ‘kill me.’
Newly released body camera footage now shows Telles slurring his words as officers walk him outside his suburban home in handcuffs and shove him in the backseat of a police car.
‘Can anyone tell me who I hit?’ Telles said repeatedly as police detained him. ‘Because I didn’t hit anybody?’
Telles added, ‘You guys just want to take me down because I’m a public official.’
‘No we don’t,’ an officer responded to the county official as Telles proceeded to deny the abuse allegations.
The arrest occurred more than two years before Telles was arrested for the September 3 murder of German, a journalist with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, who exposed the official’s affair with another woman that worked in his office.
Telles was arrested on September 7 after DNA evidence found under German’s fingernails allegedly matched his.
New body camera footage shows Las Vegas Official Robert Telles, 45, telling police they want to destroy him because he is a public official during his 2020 arrest for domestic violence
He allegedly hit his wife and grabbed her neck on their way home from a night out. The arrest occurred more than two years before Telles was arrested for the September 3 murder of a journalist
Telles was drunk when he was arrested and asked police multiple times who he hit. Police ignored his questions and Telles was taken away
The Clark County Public Administrator was arrested after Mae Ismael, his wife, said he drunkenly grabbed her by the neck and hit her arm as they returned from the Bellagio casino
Ismael and her kids (above) were hiding from drunk Telles in 2020 before police arrived at their suburban home. He is said to have grabbed her in a ‘bear hug’ after she called 911 and would not let go until their children (pictured) pried her away
Telles is pictured above from his most recent arrest in the murder of a reporter. He was arrested on September 7 after DNA evidence found under German’s fingernails allegedly matched his
Telles is now accused of killing Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German (right), 69, earlier this month, after the journalist exposed his affair with county staffer Roberta Lee-Kennett, 45,
Telles refused to discuss the murder of German in a jailhouse interview and claimed he lives his life to do ‘good for others.’
Despite his inability to discuss the case, Telles insisted he has ‘certainly made mistakes’ in his past and pointed to his drinking problem – but didn’t admit to touching his wife.
‘I don’t drink anymore,’ he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. ‘My wife and I have a much better relationship [now].’
He said he has been sober since that night and had only uncontrollably drank on special occasions beforehand.
‘It was just me blacking out and, again, not being in control of what was going on,’ he said.
‘I’ve just really try to do my best, to live my life doing good for others, and I’m hoping that, again, with everything that’s rolling around in the media these days, that people really see that,’ he said from inside the walls of the Clark County Detention Center.
A 911 call from March 2020, Telles’ wife told police he was ‘going crazy, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Ismael said Telles had drank too much and wouldn’t leave her or their children alone.
Then after she called 911, a police report states, that Telles grabbed Ismael in a tight ‘bear hug’ and did not let her go until their children pried her away.
‘The force of the grab, and Robert’s demeanor frightened the children,’ the police report says. It also notes that Ismael had no visible injuries from the brawl.
But when police arrived at the home that night, they reported that Telles began arguing with his wife again — and even yelled at officers when they tried to keep the two separated.
By the time officers tried to put him in handcuffs, the police report says, Telles flexed his arm in front of his body and collapsed into a chair, refusing to get up.
In body camera footage obtained by The New York Post, Telles can be heard shouting at police, ‘Honestly, I’ve been way f***ing drunker than this,’ and continued to deny that he hit his wife.
‘Ask the f**king Bellagio if I did that because that’s f**king bullshit,” he continued. “I would never ever f**king do that because I’m not stupid. I am a public official who would never be so f**king stupid to f**king do that. I have many friends and we had a good time. I don’t know why she f**king did this.’
In the end, though, the domestic battery charge was dismissed ‘per negotiations,’ according to court documents and Telles only received a suspended 90-day sentence on the resisting arrest charge on September 30, 2020.
The Las Vegas official is still being investigated after the veteran reporter was found stabbed to death outside his home on September 3, a day after a straw hat-wearing suspect was found on surveillance footage near the journalist’s home.
Telles did claim that ‘just really try to do my best, to live my life doing good for others.’ Telles was arrested on September 7 after DNA evidence found under German’s fingernails allegedly matched his
German – who worked in Sin City for most of his career – died of ‘multiple sharp force injuries’ in a homicide, the Clark County Office of the Coroner Medical Examiner said earlier this month.
When police searched Telles’ home, they found bloodied shoes and a cut up straw hat.
Telles’ car – a red GMC – was also found to match the vehicle seen on surveillance. Reporters also stalked the public official’s home and found him washing his car after the incident.
When Telles – who admitted he did not know if he’d resign from office – was arrested, he reportedly had self-inflicted cuts on his arms.
An arrest report obtained by DailyMail.com shows that he barricaded himself inside his home, made suicidal statements and slashed his arms with a knife when SWAT teams arrived to arrest him.
He was also suspected of taking drugs in the moments before he was cuffed, forcing officers to take him to the hospital before he was booked into the county jail.
Prosecutors have accused the public official of ‘lying in wait’ to kill the journalist, who had extensively reported on the turmoil in Telles’ office, including an alleged inappropriate relationship with a staffer Roberta Lee-Kennett, 45.
He revealed affair after publishing a video of him exiting a vehicle with his lover.
Staffer Roberta Lee-Kennett, 45, left the backseat of the car at the same time as the official, and can be seen hoisting her skirt down.
Surveillance footage showed a suspect wearing gray shoes and a straw hat, which were later found at Telles’ home
Police found a bloodied shoe that looked similar to the ones the suspect was seen wearing
Police also found a straw hat cut up at Telles’ home after the murder
Reporters spotted Telles washing his Red GMC (pictured on surveillance) shortly after the murder
Las Vegas police officers are seen on earlier this month outside Telles’ home
Telles home is pictured on earlier this month being searched by police
Telles has denied all of the allegations made against him by German, including the affair and the claims that he oversaw an abusive workplace.
He admitted to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that there was ‘hostility’ in the office, despite his efforts ‘to improve that office,’ he claimed.
‘It’s unfortunate that that narrative somehow grew legs and ran,’ he said.
DailyMail.com previously revealed Telles had been railing against German for months – including in an angry series of messages on social media in which he accused him of rifling through his trash and writing ‘lying smear pieces’ about him.
His colleagues at the Review-Journal helped to track down the suspected killer when they staked out the suspects home, after recalling the tweets sent by Telles to German.
Telles lashed out at German in a series of public Twitter posts, accusing the reporter of preparing ‘lying smear piece #4 by Jeff German, #onetrickpony I think he’s mad that I haven’t crawled into a hole and died.’
In a second post he added: ‘Wife hears rustling in the trash* Her: “Honey, is there a wild animal in the trash?”
Roberta Lee-Kennett, 45, (pictured with her husband) was accused of having an affair with Telles. German claimed that the two were having an affair, and published video of her getting out of a car and pulling her skirt down after being in the back seat with the official
Kennett left the backseat of the car at the same time as the official, as she pulled her skirt down. The clip was published by the late reporter in May
Alleged killer Robert Telles, 45, seen leaving the backseat of his car, along with a member of his staff. The story was reported by the journalist he allegedly killed
‘Me: “No, dear. Look like it’s Jeff German going through our trash for his 4th story on me.” Oh, Jeff…’
According to the local paper’s obituary, German reported on an extensive range of grizzly topics in Las Vegas, including courts, politics, labor, government and organized crime.
Glenn Cook, the Review-Journal’s executive editor, said earlier this month that German had not communicated any concerns about his personal safety or any threats made against him to anyone in the newspaper’s leadership.
He said in a statement: ‘The Review-Journal family is devastated to lose Jeff.
In the jailhouse interview, he did discuss the domestic violence case – that was dismissed – that took place in March 2020, when his wife (pictured together) called the cops and said her husband was ‘going crazy.’ He claimed he had an alcohol issue and has been sober since and has a better relationship with his wife now
‘He was the gold standard of the news business. It’s hard to imagine what Las Vegas would be like today without his many years of shining a bright light on dark places.’
German joined the Review-Journal in 2010 after more than two decades at the Las Vegas Sun, where he was a columnist and reporter who covered corruption and organized crime.
He was known for his stories about government malfeasance and political scandals and coverage of the 2017 mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival that killed 60 people and wounded more than 400 others.
German held a master’s degree from Marquette University and was the author of the 2001 true-crime book ‘Murder in Sin City: The Death of a Las Vegas Casino Boss,’ the story of the death of Ted Binion, heir to the Horseshoe Club fortune.
Cathy Scott, a former coworker, noted how she and German broke the story of the killing of Las Vegas mafia associate Herbert ‘Fat Herbie’ Blitzstein in 1997 in Las Vegas.
German (pictured) spent most of his career in Sin City and joined the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2010
German was the author of the 2001 true-crime book ‘Murder in Sin City: The Death of a Las Vegas Casino Boss,’ the story of the death of Ted Binion, heir to the Horseshoe Club fortune
German covered a lot of organized crime stories, including hosting a season of the Review-Journal’s true crime podcast, ‘Mobbed Up: The Fight for Vegas.’
The podcast was described as being about how ‘mafia crime families wielded hidden control over more than a third of the Strip’s casinos, and federal and state agents were waking up to the enormous task of pushing them out.’
He also broke stories about government corruption, political candidates having inappropriate campaign finances and told stories of the rise and fall of the mob in Las Vegas.