FILE PHOTO: U.S. Attorney General William Barr is pictured after a farewell ceremony for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Monday announced a new leadership team at the federal Bureau of Prisons in a shakeup of the agency in the wake of financier Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide inside a federal jail in Manhattan.
Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, a veteran of the Bureau of Prisons, will return to the agency to serve as its director, Barr said. He named another former agency official, Thomas Kane, to serve as her deputy.
Hugh Hurwitz, who has been serving as the bureau’s acting director – including when Epstein was found unresponsive over a week ago in a Manhattan jail cell – has been reassigned to his prior position within the agency.
Epstein had been arrested on July 6 and pleaded not guilty to federal charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls as young as 14.
His death was ruled a suicide by hanging, according to an autopsy report released on Friday.
His death at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan triggered multiple investigations and had prompted Barr to criticize “serious irregularities” at the facility.
“During this critical juncture, I am confident Dr. Hawk Sawyer and Dr. Kane will lead BOP with the competence, skill, and resourcefulness they have embodied throughout their government careers,” Barr said in the statement.
Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch Writing by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Jonathan Oatis