DeSantis made the initial request via a letter to Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
“Floridians expect and deserve a full and fair investigation,” said Governor DeSantis in the release. “Following my review of Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw’s letter, I am requesting the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to take over his criminal investigation pertaining to the Jeffrey Epstein matter. In addition, FDLE will conduct a preliminary inquiry into matters beyond the work release and into other irregularities concerning the case’s disposition. I have also re-assigned the case to the State Attorney for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit.”
DeSantis issued an Executive Assignment of the case from Palm Beach County to the State Attorney, a decision that he also publicly announced via Twitter.
After pleading guilty to state charges for soliciting prostitution from a minor, Epstein was sentenced to 13 months in jail. He served that time in a private wing of the Palm Beach State Prison and was permitted to leave the facility for twelve hours a day, six days a week as part of a work release pass.
While on work release, Epstein was apparently permitted to be picked up by a personal driver who brought him to his West Palm Beach office. There, he often worked unsupervised behind closed doors. The sheriff’s office said a deputy was not with him during his commute. Epstein was driven to his home by deputies at least nine times during that period, according to local news outlet WPTV.
[Image via Florida Department of Law Enforcement via Getty Images]