The warden of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan where Jeffrey Epstein apparently killed himself was pulled from his post and two staffers were put on leave Tuesday amid an ongoing investigation into the high-profile inmate’s death.
The Department of Justice announced that current MCC Warden Shirley Skipper-Scott would be replaced by James Petrucci, who ran the medium-security prison at Otisville, N.Y. That federal prison is perhaps most famous for its minimum-security camp — referred to as “America’s cushiest prison” — that currently houses President Donald Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen.
Other notable current and former inmates at Otisville include Bill Baroni of Bridgegate infamy, former New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Fyre Festival fraudster Billy McFarland and onetime aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo Joe Percoco.
“Today, the Attorney General directed the Bureau of Prisons to temporarily assign the warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York to the Bureau’s Northeast Regional Office pending the outcome of the FBI and OIG investigations into the apparent suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, a former MCC inmate,” DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said.
Skipper-Scott, who has not commented publicly on Epstein’s death, was reassigned to the Bureau of Prisons’ northeast regional office. The two MCC staffers pulled from their posts had been assigned to the unit where Epstein died, Kupec said.
“Additional actions may be taken as the circumstances warrant,” Kupec said.
Epstein, 66, hanged himself on Saturday morning. The FBI and Office of Inspector General are both conducting investigations into how the perverted financier killed himself despite having recently been on suicide watch. He had pleaded not guilty to charges that he ran an elaborate sex trafficking ring in New York in Florida involving underage girls in the early 2000s.
The new leadership was announced one day after Attorney General William Barr said he was “angry” about Epstein’s suicide and that “irregularities” had since been discovered at the jail. The union representing federal correctional officers has long complained about long hours and lack of staff.
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