LAS VEGAS — As one of four reporters on the investigative team of Las Vegas’s main newspaper, Jeff German wrote stories that reached nearly every sordid corner of Sin City.
Even as old-school reporting jobs dwindled, Mr. German’s watchdog articles and columns pried back the curtain on mobsters, crooked politicians, casino titans and just about anyone who misused wealth or power in the city. In the last few years, he had scrutinized lavish spending by the city’s tourism agency, claims of sexual harassment at the coroner’s office and allegations that the Las Vegas Raiders football organization had violated discrimination and labor laws.
After four decades of surviving reporting on the most unsavory characters in a city with a reputation for mob-linked murders, there was little reason to think that Mr. German, 69, would be in danger when he turned his attention earlier this year to an obscure government office where some employees claimed their boss was a bully. The article didn’t even run on the front page.
he wrote a book called “Murder in Sin City” about the killing of the casino magnate Ted Binion. After the mass shooting in Las Vegas in 2017, Mr. German published an exclusive report detailing how the gunman had fired at jet fuel tanks on the ground — seemingly in hopes of causing an explosion — before opening fire on a concert below him. Last year, he co-wrote an investigation about troubles in the coroner’s office, where there were allegations of sexual harassment, retaliation and delays in autopsies.
produced a story in May that was far from a blockbuster — the agency was so obscure that few in town knew what it did — but was the kind of impactful work he was known to produce. In the story, current and former employees of Mr. Telles’s office said he had been such a bad boss that some of them had suffered headaches; they said he had played favorites, given some employees unreasonable assignments and prohibited them from using their phones. They also said he had been having an “inappropriate relationship” with an employee and that it had made the office dynamic worse.
Mr. Telles denied the claims and criticized the article in statements on Twitter and his website, but the county went on to hire a consultant to try to resolve the turmoil in the office. Mr. Telles then lost a Democratic primary campaign to Ms. Reid. Online, Mr. Telles continued to rail against Mr. German, accusing him of writing a “lying smear piece.” Mr. German discussed the online posts with his editor.