South Florida Sun-Sentinel by Skyler Swisher
July 29, 2019
A new criminal investigation examining wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein’s time at the Palm Beach County jail effectively shut down the public’s ability to review records related to the case.
Epstein’s jail sentence about a decade ago is getting a fresh examination amid accusations that he continued to have “improper sexual contact” with women when he was on work release from the jail and under the supervision of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
But the investigation isn’t being done by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement or another outside law enforcement agency. Instead, Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw ordered his own detectives to handle the probe.
Bradshaw has led the agency since 2004, and he was in charge of the Sheriff’s Office when Epstein spent 13 months in the county stockade during 2008-09 as part of a once-secret plea deal widely criticized for being too lenient.
As part of the deal, Epstein pleaded guilty to state prostitution charges, registered as a sex offender, and paid settlements to victims. The agreement ended a federal sex abuse investigation that involved dozens of teenage girls.