US prisons chief removed after Epstein’s death

FILE – In this July 19, 2019, file photo, acting Director of the Bureau of Prisons Hugh Hurwitz speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington. Hurwitz has been removed from his post more than a week after millionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein took his own life while in federal custody. Attorney General William Barr announced Hugh Hurwitz’s termination Monday, Aug. 19. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The acting director of the federal Bureau of Prisons has been removed from his position more than a week after millionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein took his own life while in federal custody.

Attorney General William Barr announced Hugh Hurwitz’s reassignment Monday. Hurwitz had served as the agency’s acting director since May 2018.

No reason was given for the reassignment, but the move comes as the bureau faces increased scrutiny after Epstein’s suicide Aug. 10 at a New York jail.

The FBI and Justice Department’s inspector general are investigating.

Barr has named Kathleen Hawk Sawyer to succeed Hurwitz. She was the agency’s director from 1992 until 2003.

Hurwitz also led the agency when Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger was killed in a federal prison in West Virginia in October.

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