Published: Wed, August 14, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Justice Dept: Epstein warden reassigned, two staffers put on leave

Justice Dept: Epstein warden reassigned, two staffers put on leave

The department says in a statement Tuesday that the warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Center has also been temporarily reassigned to an office post pending the outcome of two investigations. Efforts to reach N'Diaye were not immediately successful.

Epstein was taken off suicide watch after he allegedly tried to kill himself the first time.

Eric Young, president of the union council that represents prison guards, said that such reassignments are routinely done to "protect the integrity of investigations until any formal action, if any, is warranted".

The Justice Department says the warden of another facility in upstate NY has been named the acting warden at MCC.

The facility is run by the Bureau of Prisons, which is part of the Justice Department and falls under Barr's authority.

The US Justice Department said that Attorney General William Barr had directed the Bureau of Prisons to temporarily assign the warden of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in NY, pending the outcome of an FBI and Office of the Inspector General investigation into Epstein's death. Results of his autopsy are pending.

The guards were required to check on 66-year-old Epstein every 30 minutes, but that procedure was not followed, a source previously told Reuters.

That deal, he said, "essentially shut down an ongoing Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into whether there were more victims and other powerful people who took part in Epstein's sex crimes". That person was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. "In addition to the FBI's investigation, I have consulted with the Inspector General who is opening an investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Epstein's death".

Lawmakers also demanded answers from federal officials. But for reasons that have not been explained, he had been taken off that watch at the end of July and returned to the jail's special housing unit.

The Bureau of Prisons did not respond to a request for comment.

"Too many of Epstein's secrets have gone to the grave with him, and the Department must not allow his death to be one last sweetheart deal for his co-conspirators", Sasse wrote. Prosecutors say Epstein, a well-connected financier, created a network of minors whom he sexually abused, paying teenage girls to come to his homes to give massages that often escalated into sex acts.

"I was appalled, and indeed the whole department was, and, frankly, angry", Barr said, speaking at an event in New Orleans. Any co-conspirators should not rest easy. "The victims deserve justice, and they will get it".

Underscoring that warning, federal agents on Monday conducted a search at the private Caribbean island Epstein owned in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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