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U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein (center) appears in court where he pleaded guilty to two prostitution charges in West Palm ...

Florida governor asks state law enforcement to probe decade-old Epstein case

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s governor is asking state law enforcement officials to take over a criminal investigation of irregularities in the handling of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

At Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw’s request, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday ordered the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to review a work release program that allowed Epstein to visit his office while staying at the county jail a decade ago. DeSantis also requested an inquiry into other irregularities.

Last month, Bradshaw opened criminal and internal affairs investigations into Epstein’s 13-month stay at the Palm Beach County stockade. Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to prostitution-related charges involving underage girls. Epstein was allowed to spend most days at his West Palm Beach office.

The 66-year-old Epstein faces new federal sex trafficking charges in New York.