Looks like Brad Edwards’ information struck a nerve in Palm Beach County. The attorney represents one of Jeffrey Epstein’s original victims, but he announced on Tuesday that he also had witnesses to Epstein’s continued exploitation of young women while serving his sentence. Although he couldn’t say for sure if any of the women were underage, Edwards alleged that Epstein had a stream of women coming into his office for sex, under the noses of Palm Beach County sheriff deputies supposedly enforcing the terms of his work-release program.
Today the PBSO announced the launch of an internal probe to deliver “total transparency and accountability”:
Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw is ordering an internal investigation into how the agency handled wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein’s jail sentence about a decade ago.
The investigation comes amid allegations that Epstein had “improper sexual contact” with at least one young woman when he was on work release from the county stockade.
The agency released a statement that the matter “will be fully investigated to ensure total transparency and accountability.”
“Sheriff Bradshaw takes these matters very seriously and wants to determine if any actions taken by the deputies assigned to monitor Epstein during his work release program violated any agency rules and regulations,” the statement reads.
Bradshaw likely didn’t just do this on the basis of statements from a plaintiff’s attorney. Edwards wasn’t the only one raising concerns about PBSO handling of Epstein, however. Local NBC affiliate WPTV had also uncovered a number of irregularities allowed by deputies, including time at home — which was strictly prohibited by the terms of his work release:
WPTV Contact 5 Investigators uncovered that Epstein was allowed to leave jail six days a week after Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw granted Epstein work release benefits.
Under the rules of the work release program, a deputy was assigned to “remain in the office with [Epstein] at all times.”
But deputy logs show Epstein was escorted to his home by deputies at least nine times.
In addition, deputies left him in his home unsupervised for up to three hours sometimes, despite the fact that agency rules stated Epstein “is not to leave his designated workplace for any reason, with the exception of returning to the PBSO stockade, or for emergency medical treatment.”
They left Epstein home alone for three hours at a stretch? Some jail sentence that was. What would Epstein have done with all that unsupervised free time? Hmmmmmm. And why would deputies allow a filthy-rich Epstein to get away with these violations? Must be … his charming personality.
It’s been nearly a decade since all of this took place, which may mean that Bradshaw won’t necessarily be able to get to the bottom of it now. That might end up being a big problem, as the perception of a “nothing to see here” conclusion will be that Bradshaw was a part of the problem.
Speaking of being part of the problem, Bradshaw’s #2 went on record already saying “nothing to see here” immediately after Edwards’ presser:
That same day, PBSO Chief Deputy Sheriff Michael Gauger questioned the veracity of Edwards’ allegations.
“If that occurred, that’s news to me,” Gauger said when reached by phone.
Later, he added: “That would shock me if the deputies allowed someone else in.” … “He was cooperative. He was friendly. He created no issues during his incarceration period,” Gauger said, describing Epstein’s demeanor while he was jailed on state prostitution charges stemming from accusations that he had sex with dozens of underage young girls at his mansion in Palm Beach.
Perhaps nothing untoward happened, but … don’t bet on it. If deputy logs do show these violations, then Gauger’s already got a huge credibility problem. It’s just another way in which Jeffrey Epstein threatens to blow up a lot of careers on his way to trial. At some point, would Epstein be willing to bargain with federal prosecutors by trading some information on corruption, whether true or not? Don’t put it past him, although it would have to be explosive and corroborated for any federal prosecutor to ever cut a deal with Epstein in the future.