AP Exclusive: Feds backtrack on transfer of Epstein warden
NEW YORK (AP) — The Bureau of Prisons is holding off on transferring the warden who was in charge of the New York City jail where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself.
The agency said Tuesday it would defer the transfer of Lamine N’Diaye to a leadership role at FCI Fort Dix, a low-security prison in Burlington County, New Jersey, until the internal investigation is completed into the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
Epstein was found unresponsive in his jail cell on Aug. 10 and was later pronounced dead.
The AP reported last week that N’Diaye was to be transferred despite multiple active investigations into Epstein’s death.
The agency’s backtracking came after Attorney General William Barr stepped in and told officials at the Bureau of Prisons to reverse course given the active investigations, a person familiar with the matter told the AP. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an internal personnel matter.
Barr ordered N’Diaye be reassigned to a desk post at the Bureau of Prisons’ regional office in Pennsylvania after Epstein’s death as the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general investigated. The inspector general’s investigation is continuing, and the Justice Department is still probing the circumstances that led to Epstein’s death, including why he wasn’t given a cellmate.
But the Bureau of Prisons had planned to move N’Diaye to the new role on Feb. 2, which would have put him back in the field supervising inmates and staff members.
Epstein took his own life in August while awaiting trial on charges he sexually abused girls as young as 14 and young women in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.
His suicide cast a spotlight on the federal prison agency, which has been plagued for years by a chronic staffing shortage and violence and highlighted a series of safety lapses inside one of the most secure jails in America.