The announcement came amid mounting evidence that the chronically understaffed Metropolitan Correctional Center may have failed in its responsibility to keep 66-year-old Epstein from harming himself while he awaited trial on charges of sexually abusing teenage girls.
Epstein was taken off a suicide watch last month for reasons that have not been explained, and was supposed to have been checked on by a guard every 30 minutes. But investigators learned those checks weren’t done for several hours before he was found dead.
Attorney General William Barr said that he was “frankly angry to learn of the MCC’s failure to adequately secure this prisoner. We will get to the bottom of what happened and there will be accountability.”
The Justice Department said the warden of another facility in upstate New York has been named the acting warden at MCC. The FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general are investigating Epstein’s death.