Jeffrey Epstein suicide blamed on jail guard negligence and misconduct: Justice Department

Inspector General Michael Horowitz cited the federal Bureau of Prisons' failure to assign Epstein a cellmate after his previous one left and problems with surveillance cameras as factors in Epstein’s death.

Associated Press

Jun 27, 2023, 4:03 PM

Updated 290 days ago

Share:

Jeffrey Epstein suicide blamed on jail guard negligence and misconduct: Justice Department
The Justice Department’s watchdog said Tuesday that a "combination of negligence and misconduct" enabled financier Jeffrey Epstein to take his own life at a federal jail in New York City while he was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz cited the federal Bureau of Prisons' failure to assign Epstein a cellmate after his previous one left and problems with surveillance cameras as factors in Epstein’s death.
Horowitz also said that Epstein was left in his cell with too many bed linens, which are a security issue and were used in his suicide.
The inspector general issued a report detailing findings of his investigation into Epstein's August 2019 death, the last of several official inquiries into the matter. He reiterated the findings of other investigations that there was no indication of foul play, rebutting conspiracy theories surrounding the high-profile death.
Horowitz echoed previous findings that some members of the jail staff involved in guarding Epstein were overworked. He identified 13 employees with poor performance and recommended charges against six workers. Only the two workers tasked with guarding Epstein were charged, avoiding jail time in a plea deal after admitting to falsifying logs.
The report comes more than four years after Epstein took his own life at the Metropolitan Correctional Center while awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.
It also comes weeks after The Associated Press obtained thousands of pages of records detailing Epstein’s detention and death and its chaotic aftermath.
The workers assigned to guard Epstein were sleeping and shopping online instead of checking on him every 30 minutes as required, prosecutors said.
Nova Noel and Michael Thomas admitted lying on prison records to make it seem as though they had made the checks but avoided prison time under a deal with prosecutors. They left the Bureau of Prisons in April 2022, agency spokesperson Benjamin O’Cone said.
It’s the second time in six months that Horowitz has blamed a high-profile inmate’s death on the Bureau of Prisons’ failings. In December, the inspector general found that management failures, flawed policies and widespread incompetence were factors in notorious gangster James “Whitey” Bulger's 2018 beating death at a troubled West Virginia prison.
The AP obtained more than 4,000 pages of documents related to Epstein’s death from the federal Bureau of Prisons under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents, including a reconstruction of events leading to Epstein’s suicide, internal reports, emails, memos and other records, underscored how short staffing and corner-cutting contributed to Epstein’s death.
Epstein spent 36 days at the now-shuttered Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. Two weeks before his death, he was placed on suicide watch for 31 hours after what jail officials said was a suicide attempt that left his neck bruised and scraped.
The workers tasked with guarding Epstein the night he died were working overtime. One of them, not normally assigned to guard prisoners, was working a fifth straight day of overtime. The other was working mandatory overtime, which meant a second eight-hour shift in one day.
In addition, Epstein’s cellmate did not return after a court hearing the day before, and jail officials failed to pair another prisoner with him, leaving him alone.


More from News 12
1:51
Multiple injuries reported in school bus-SUV collision in Yorktown

Multiple injuries reported in school bus-SUV collision in Yorktown

2:30
Spotty showers and breezy today. Showers possible Saturday & Sunday

Spotty showers and breezy today. Showers possible Saturday & Sunday

1:53
School official: Child struck by private school bus in Monsey

School official: Child struck by private school bus in Monsey

1:31
Police: New City man stabbed multiple times in his driveway by unknown assailant

Police: New City man stabbed multiple times in his driveway by unknown assailant

1:04
Residents complain that stalled New Windsor school construction project is an ‘eyesore’

Residents complain that stalled New Windsor school construction project is an ‘eyesore’

1:32
Severe weather knocks down trees and power lines overnight

Severe weather knocks down trees and power lines overnight

Vote 2024: Ask your questions for Congressional District 16 Democratic candidates

Vote 2024: Ask your questions for Congressional District 16 Democratic candidates

0:42
Cleanup efforts continue 2 weeks after Bronx River oil spill

Cleanup efforts continue 2 weeks after Bronx River oil spill

0:29
Carmel Police Department receives $162,000 in federal grants

Carmel Police Department receives $162,000 in federal grants

2 injured in Thruway crash after passenger accidentally presses vehicle's start/off button

2 injured in Thruway crash after passenger accidentally presses vehicle's start/off button

Transit Alert: Normal service resumes on Metro-North Hudson Line

Transit Alert: Normal service resumes on Metro-North Hudson Line

0:48
Storm knocks out power to over 4,000 customers across the Hudson Valley

Storm knocks out power to over 4,000 customers across the Hudson Valley

0:39
Manhattanville University awarded nearly $1 million for teacher preparation programs

Manhattanville University awarded nearly $1 million for teacher preparation programs

0:53
New Rochelle mayor highlights strong economy and future plans in State of the City address

New Rochelle mayor highlights strong economy and future plans in State of the City address

0:54
Headlines: Gun arrest in New Rochelle, guilty plea in drug sales case, bank fraud attempt

Headlines: Gun arrest in New Rochelle, guilty plea in drug sales case, bank fraud attempt

0:44
Two Maryland residents face weapons charges after New Rochelle traffic stop

Two Maryland residents face weapons charges after New Rochelle traffic stop

Guide: Hudson Valley Public Golf Courses

Guide: Hudson Valley Public Golf Courses

2:09
Residents raise pedestrian safety concerns following Yonkers fatal hit-and-run

Residents raise pedestrian safety concerns following Yonkers fatal hit-and-run

0:53
Essential support: Westchester initiative tackles Black maternal health disparities

Essential support: Westchester initiative tackles Black maternal health disparities

0:26
Police: 4 suspects arrested in connection with Kingston stabbing

Police: 4 suspects arrested in connection with Kingston stabbing