Attorney General Bill Barr directed the Bureau of Prisons to reassign the warden of the federal prison at which billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein was reportedly left unmonitored long enough to die of an apparent suicide, a Justice Department spokesperson said Tuesday.
Barr has also directed the bureau to put two staff members that were serving on Epstein’s unit on administrative leave, DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec said in a statement. All personnel changes are temporary as the FBI and the Office of the Inspector General conduct investigation’s into the accused sex trafficker’s death.
The former warden will be temporarily placed at the bureau’s Northeast Regional Office and the warden of the Otisville, New York, federal prison, James Petrucci, will serve as acting warden of the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where Epstein was being held.
“Additional actions may be taken as the circumstances warrant,” Kupec said.
Barr announced on Monday that he directed an investigation into Epstein’s death, just a day after President Trump retweeted an unsubstantiated, far-right conspiracy theory that tied former President Bill Clinton to the accused sex trafficker’s death.
Multiple news outlets have reported that Epstein was left unmonitored for “several” hours before he was found dead of an apparent hanging on Saturday. Epstein was also reportedly suppose to have a cellmate, but his was transferred on Friday and not replaced.
The convicted sex offender was on suicide watch just days before his death after a recent attempt on his own life. Epstein was being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center awaiting trial for federal charges that he operated a sex trafficking ring with underage girls in the early 2000s.
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