US

Palm Beach Sheriff Launches Investigation Into Epstein ‘Work Release’ Deal

Uma Sanghvi/Palm Beach Post via REUTERS.

Rachel Stoltzfoos Staff Reporter

The Florida sheriff who oversaw a work-release agreement for sexual offender Jeffrey Epstein in 2008 has launched an internal review of his department’s handling of the case.

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said Friday he has ordered an internal review of the department’s handling of Epstein, specifically the work release policy, the Miami Herald reported.

“Sheriff Bradshaw takes these matters very seriously and wants to determine if any actions taken by the deputies assigned to monitor Epstein during his work release program violated any agency rules and regulations, during the time he was on PBSO work release program,” he said in a statement. (RELATED: Work Permits Link Victoria’s Secret Billionaire To Epstein‘s New York House)

A protest group called “Hot Mess” hold up signs of Jeffrey Epstein in front of the federal courthouse on July 8, 2019 in New York City. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Epstein is accused of sex trafficking in charges filed in New York. He was sentenced to 18 months in a county jail in 2008 as part of a non-prosecution agreement with the federal government. But the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Department allowed him to leave the jail for 12 hours a day, six days a week, and let him out five months early on parole — a decision that appears to violate department policy and has drawn intense scrutiny in the renewed focus on Epstein. (RELATED: Epstein‘s New Mega-Ranch Could Play Into Investigation)

Epstein agreed to plead guilty in Florida to two prostitution offenses, make payments to victims and register as a sex offender in exchange for the government agreeing not to indict him federally for trafficking underage girls. New scrutiny of the deal prompted by a series of investigative reports from the Miami Herald late last year led to the resignation of Alex Acosta — the federal prosecutor who made the deal — from his post as President Donald Trump’s labor secretary last week.