Friday, July 26, 2019

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to know if Palm Beach Sheriffs are 'doing a good job' after Epstein

Posted By on Fri, Jul 26, 2019 at 11:00 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOEY ROULETTE
  • Photo by Joey Roulette
Gov. Ron DeSantis is considering whether state law-enforcement officials have an oversight role in looking at how the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office handled sex offender Jeffrey Epstein while he was in its custody more than a decade ago.

DeSantis said Thursday after a Cabinet meeting that he wants to determine if the sheriff’s office is “doing a good job” before acting on a request by state Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation.

Book, who suffered childhood sexual abuse, asked DeSantis this week to direct the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate Epstein’s incarceration.

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw has started an internal affairs investigation into the Epstein matter. Epstein is facing sex-trafficking charges involving minors in Florida and New York. A federal judge in New York has denied a request for bail.



Epstein previously served 13 months of an 18-month sentence after he pleaded guilty in 2008 to two state prostitution charges in Florida, including procuring a minor for sex. The plea required him to register as a sex offender. While in custody, Epstein was housed in a private wing of the Palm Beach County stockade, according to the Miami Herald, which has done extensive reporting on Epstein.

After more than three months in custody, Epstein was provided work release for up to 12 hours a day, six days a week, the Herald reported.

“I know they are investigating it down in Palm Beach, but clearly when you look at how that happened, even if, like, 10 percent of the things about him are true, then that whole (plea) agreement was suspect and woefully below what he should have faced,” DeSantis said. “I’ll look at it and see, can the state exercise some good oversight there.”

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