Upheaval continues in the jail where notorious sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein died, the Associated Press reports.
For the fourth time since Epstein’s August 2019 death at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York, a new warden will be brought in to manage the facility.
The high-security federal jail continues to face mounting hurdles, including the spread of COVID-19, smuggling of guns and drugs and allegations of appalling living conditions.
The most recent warden, Marti Licon-Vitale, abruptly resigned this week after serving as the warden for 18 months, the AP reports.
In recent weeks, a correctional officer had reported sexual misconduct allegedly committed by a superior officer, which jail officials did not immediately disclose to the federal Bureau of Prisons, according to the AP. The jail also has come under criticism for allegedly violating prison regulations.
In a statement to the AP, the Bureau of Prisons said it was “committed to ensuring the safety and humane treatment of all inmates in our population, our staff and the public,” and added that “allegations of staff misconduct are thoroughly investigated and appropriate action is taken if such allegations are proven true, including the possibility of referral for criminal prosecution when appropriate.”
The Bureau of Prisons told the AP that Licon-Vitale, 54, has decided to retire and Eric Williams has been assigned to serve as interim warden until a permanent leader is found.
Williams was tapped from his post as warden of a medium-security prison in Illinois, a position he has held since March, according to the New York Post. Williams is the fourth warden at MCC since Epstein committed suicide in August 2019.
Licon-Vitale had come to the jail in January 2020 after running a federal prison in Connecticut.
She replaced an interim warden who was appointed after Lamine N’Diaye, the warden at the time of Epstein’s death, was transferred to another job within the agency.
The Justice Department is still investigating Epstein’s death. Authorities have said that two correctional officers who were supposed to be watching Epstein failed to check on him, which gave him an opportunity to kill himself.
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