Jeffrey Epstein’s Florida Work Release Under Investigation by Palm Beach

(Bloomberg) -- The Palm Beach County Sheriff has opened an internal investigation into whether it properly monitored Jeffrey Epstein after he pleaded guilty to state Florida state charges in 2008 and was sent to jail.

Epstein was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the state charge of soliciting an underage girl for sex. The sheriff’s office allowed Epstein to hire his own security detail and, under a work-release program, leave the facility to work at his West Palm Beach office for up to 12 hours a day six days a week, according to the Miami Herald. He was released after 13 months.

A series of articles by the Herald raised questions not only about the non-prosecution agreement Epstein reached with Florida authorities and then-U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, but also whether as a convicted sex offender, Epstein qualified for work release. Acosta annouced he would resign on July 12 in the wake of criticism of his handling of the case.

“Today, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw ordered an Internal Affairs Investigation into the Jeffrey Epstein matter,” his office said in a statement Friday. “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.”

Epstein, 66, was arrested on July 6 by agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, facing new federal charges that he sexually assaulted teenage girls from 2002 to 2005. He’s pleaded not guilty and said he’s fully complied with the law for the past 14 years. A federal judge on Thursday ordered Epstein to remain in custody, finding he poses a danger to the community. He faces up to 45 years in prison if convicted.

Read more on the Epstein case:

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