Two guards who were responsible for monitoring Jeffrey Epstein's unit at a federal detention center were asleep on the job during his apparent suicide, The New York Times reports, citing law enforcement and prison officials. The guards then reportedly falsified records to cover up their actions.
Epstein was being held in a special housing unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center. The Justice Department said Tuesday that the warden at the center has been reassigned, and the guards have been placed on leave. Such staff reassignments reportedly are often used to preserve the integrity of an investigation.
Attorney General William Barr called the jail's handling of Epstein a "failure" and cited "irregularities" at the facility. He had recently been taken off suicide watch, but staff was supposed to check in on him every 30 minutes, which they did not do in the hours before he was found hanging from a bedsheet in his cell.