The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Friday opened an internal investigation into whether it properly handled the case of Jeffrey Epstein.
The multimillionaire spent 13 months in jail beginning in 2008 after pleading guilty to solicitation of a minor, following a plea deal with Florida prosecutors that spared him from a much harsher sentence.
The investigation will specifically look at the office's decision to allow Epstein to be free 12 hours a day, 6 days a week on work release and determine whether deputies violated any rules or regulations related to the matter, The Miami Herald reports. While on work release Epstein was reportedly monitored by deputies, whom he paid $128,136 to watch him, the entire time he was out. On some occasions, records show, Epstein's personal limousine would drop him off at his office as early as 7:15 a.m. and returned him to jail as late as 10:40 p.m.
Epstein also was not allowed to leave his office while out of jail, but records show that deputies escorted him to his Palm Beach mansion on at least eight occasions.
"All aspects of the matter will be fully investigated to ensure total transparency and accountability," Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said on Friday. Bradshaw was the sheriff during Epstein's time in jail, as well.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli reportedly wants his department to keep asylum seekers from crossing the border.
In an email to staffers sent Tuesday and obtained by BuzzFeed News, Cuccinelli wrote about how the current immigration system is being "abused" and how asylum officers need to crack down "to help stem the crisis and better secure the homeland." The message read like a stern reminder of how immigration process works, but to some Department of Homeland Security officials, it came across as a clear "threat" and downright "insane," BuzzFeed News reports.
In the message directly addressed to "asylum officers," Cuccinelli mentioned that far more migrants are allowed past an initial credible fear screening by USCIS officers than are actually granted asylum by a judge. He then implied that USCIS officers should try to curb the number of people they let past that initial screening, saying they should only make "positive credible fear determinations in cases that have a significant possibility of success." A current DHS official told BuzzFeed News the email was "insane, while former officials said it was "clearly a threat."
Cuccinelli, an immigration hardliner, was appointed to lead USCIS following previous director Francis Cissna's June 1 ouster. Trump reportedly thought Cissna wasn't taking a harsh enough approach on immigration matters. As Tal Kopan of the San Francisco Chronicletweeted, the directive in Cuccinelli's email "is precisely the type of thing Francis Cissna would not have done, because he would have followed legal procedures to try to make changes to adjudications." Kathryn Krawczyk