The Justice Department reassigned the warden at the New York City detention center where Jeffrey Epstein apparently hanged himself, and placed on leave two staffers monitoring his unit at the time, reports the Washington Post. The shake-up was ordered amid complaints about the facility made that holds some of the federal justice system’s most notorious suspects. The Metropolitan Correctional Center, a high-rise holding 760 prisoners, has been under intense scrutiny since Epstein’s death last weekend. Critics called the incident emblematic of a neglected, understaffed and dysfunctional federal prison system. The move to transfer Lamine N’Diaye, who had only recently begun working as the jail’s warden, came after Attorney General William Barr cited “serious irregularities” there and a “failure” to keep Epstein secure.
N’Diaye is being temporarily assigned to a regional office. Barr appointed James Petrucci, who has been running a federal prison in Otisville, N.Y., as the facility’s acting warden. Epstein, a 66-year-old registered sex offender and multimillionaire, was found hanging in his cell around 6:30 a.m. Saturday, He was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. He was supposed to be checked every 30 minutes, but guards had not done so for several hours before he was found by staff as they delivered breakfast to inmates. Guards are suspected of falsifying log entries to show they were checking on inmates in Epstein’s unit every half hour when they actually weren’t, the Associated Press reports. A Justice Department official said the Bureau of Prisons’s suicide reconstruction team, which includes psychologists, is now analyzing how and why Epstein was able to kill himself. The department planned to send an “after action” team on Wednesday, which would perform a broader assessment.