The Justice Department says two guards assigned to watch Jeffrey Epstein when he killed himself in jail have been placed on administrative 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. Both the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general are investigating Epstein’s death.
Attorney General William Barr has expressed outrage that Epstein was able to take his own life Saturday while under the care of the federal Bureau of Prisons while the inmate was facing sex trafficking charges.
The Justice Department says the warden of another facility in upstate New York has been named the acting warden at MCC. The Department says it will take additional personnel action as warranted.
Amid revelations about Epstein’s death, authorities have intensified inquiries into what went wrong at the jail and who could still face charges in his case.
A person familiar with the matter says Epstein was supposed to have been checked on by a guard about every 30 minutes. But investigators have learned those checks weren’t done for several hours before Epstein was found Saturday.
That person wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Additionally, Serene Gregg, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 3148, told The Washington Post that one of the guards assigned to Epstein’s unit wasn’t a correctional officer, but a fill-in who had been pressed into service.