Fed up over bullying, Nevada women take secret video of "monster" boss. He was later indicted for murder.

When Aleisha Goodwin, an estate coordinator at the Clark County Public Administrator’s Office, reached out to Las Vegas Review-Journal investigative reporter Jeff German in March 2022 to describe the problems she and her co-workers said they were experiencing with their boss, she said they were at their breaking point.

“We were desperate,” Goodwin told “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant in “The Assassination of Jeff German” an all-new “48 Hours” to be broadcast Saturday, Feb. 17 at 10/9c on CBS and streaming on Paramount +.

After German spoke with Goodwin and her colleagues Rita Reid, Jessica Coleman and Noraine Pagdanganan, they were relieved to find out that German would take on their story. “He did something, and he fought for us,” Goodwin said. “And he is 100 percent our hero.”

The women could have never imagined that just five months after meeting him, their hero Jeff German would be dead.

Jeff German

Las Vegas Review-Journal, Inc./Kevin Cannon

On Sept. 3, 2022, German’s body was found on the side of his Las Vegas home by a concerned neighbor. According to investigators, German had been murdered 24 hours earlier, suffering seven stab wounds to the neck and torso.

As the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department began its investigation, it discovered surveillance video from across the street that captured the attack. The video showed the alleged assailant walking into German’s side yard and hiding behind the gate. Moments later, according to police, German opened his garage door, walked to the side of his house, and was ambushed by the assailant.

“The attack seemed personal in nature,” Rhonda Prast, the former assistant managing editor for Investigations at the Review-Journal, told “48 Hours.” But who would have wanted to kill German?

One of the names that came to the top of the list was the Clark County Public Administrator Robert Telles. Based on the four women’s accounts, German had written a series of stories describing a toxic workplace under Telles. 

Robert Telles
Robert Telles

Las Vegas Review-Journal, Inc./Kevin Cannon

According to the women, the trouble began almost immediately after Telles took office in January 2019. Reid, a supervisor, was Telles’ second in command and a 12-year veteran of the office. She recalled a conversation she had with Telles. “He came in very abruptly into the office and he slammed his palms down on my desk,” Reid told “48 Hours.” “He leaned forward, and he said, ‘we’re ripping off the bandage. You no longer supervise anyone, no one reports to you … They all report to me.” 

The women said they were ordered not to speak to each other in the office. “It felt dangerous to even have a ‘hello, good morning,’ conversation with coworkers in passing,” Coleman told “48 Hours.” If caught, Goodwin said the consequences could be severe. She remembered getting called into Telles’ office after he saw her and two other women talking. “We walked into his office, and he said, ‘sit down and shut up. You’re not gonna talk … I’m gonna talk,'” said Goodwin.

From left, Rita Reid, Jessica Coleman, Noraine Pagdanganan and  Aleisha Goodwin.

CBS News

Despite years of service, all the women said they were fearful of losing their jobs. Telles, they believed, had started an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate in the office named Roberta. According to Goodwin, Roberta used that relationship with Telles to assume power and privilege in the office.

The women knew they needed proof of the alleged affair for the county to believe them, so they decided to follow Telles and Roberta. According to Goodwin, the pair would meet at the same place, a parking garage in a nearby mall. The women said the alleged lovers would park next to each other and would ultimately end up in the back seat of Roberta’s car. The women documented the meet ups with pictures and videos. “You can see the shadows. And you can see those heads going together,” said Goodwin. “It was so unbelievable, and it just took a minute to digest,” said Reid. “At that moment, it was like so real.”

When German saw the videos, he reached out to Roberta for comment. She replied, “I have not had an inappropriate relationship with him.” Telles also denied they were having an affair.  

Robert Telles captured on video
The women followed and videotaped Robert Telles, pictured leaving the back seat of the car of an alleged lover – a subordinate – at a parking garage where the suspected trysts took place. Both Telles and his alleged lover denied they were having an affair.

Aleisha Goodwin

In May 2022, the Review-Journal published German’s article headlined, “County office in turmoil with secret video and claims of bullying, hostility.” The article had a swift effect on the Public Administrator’s Office and the county sent in an outside consultant. German went on to publish three more articles about Telles, which chronicled his loss for reelection in the primary, ironically, to his second in command, Rita Reid.

German was working on another story about Telles, but he would not survive to write it.

Five days after his murder, police arrested Telles after, they said, his DNA was discovered under German’s fingernails.

The story very quickly became national news, according to Review-Journal investigations editor Art Kane – who has written a book about German’s murder, “The Last Story: The Murder of an Investigative Journalist in Las Vegas,” which is expected to be released this April. “A reporter killed by a politician for a story that he wrote,” Kane told “48 Hours.” “If he’s the guy … that’s pretty unheard of.”

Telles was booked into the Clark County Detention Center. Six weeks later, he was indicted by a grand jury for murder with use of a deadly weapon. He pleaded not guilty and has since been in jail awaiting trial, which is scheduled for March 18, 2024.

Van Sant interviewed Telles at the Clark County Detention Center. Telles denied killing German and when he was asked about the evidence against him, including his DNA under German’s fingernails, he said, “I say that evidence or so-called evidence was planted … And we will go ahead and prove that at trial.” 

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