Shirley Skipper-Scott is the former acting warden and current associate warden of the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, New York. She was misreported as the warden of MCC in news reports following the death of billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The warden and two MCC employees who were assigned to the cell block where Epstein died were reassigned pending an investigation into the death.
The move comes days after ABC News reported that jail protocols were not followed in the lead-up to Epstein’s death.
Epstein was facing child sex trafficking charges at the time of his death. He previously faced similar charges in Florida but was allowed to plead guilty to just two state prostitution charges by then-US Attorney Alexander Acosta.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Shirley Skipper-Scott is the Associate Warden of the Jail Where Jeffrey Epstein Died
Shirley Skipper-Scott is the former acting warden of the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
Skipper-Scott has worked for the Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice, according to her since-deleted Facebook profile.
Skipper-Scott has worked at the prison since at least 2017, earning a salary of $127,218, according to federal records.
Though she was listed as the warden in several news reports, she only briefly served as the jail’s acting warden and was the associate warden at the time of Epstein’s death.
She previously worked at government facilities in Puerto Rico, Yazoo City, Mississippi, Big Spring, Texas, and Coleman, Florida.
According to her Facebook page, she lived in Brooklyn, New York but her car’s license plate is registered in New Jersey.
2. Warden Was Temporarily Reassigned Pending an Investigation
MCC warden Lamine N’Diaye was reassigned to the Bureau of Prisons’ Northeast Regional Office by Attorney General Bill Barr while the Justice Department investigates Epstein’s death. It’s unclear if Skipper-Scott was involved in the shuffle.
“Today, the Attorney General directed the Bureau of Prisons to temporarily assign the warden at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York to the Bureau’s Northeast Regional Office pending the outcome of the FBI and OIG investigations into the apparent suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, a former MCC inmate,” Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said in a statement to NBC News.
“FCI Otisville Warden James Petrucci has been named Acting Warden of the MCC New York. The Bureau of Prisons also placed on administrative leave two MCC staff assigned to Mr. Epstein’s unit pending the outcome of the investigations,” the statement added. “Additional actions may be taken as the circumstances warrant.”
3. Skipper-Scott Has Not Commented on Epstein’s Death
“The warden of the MCC facility, Shirley Skipper-Scott, has not commented on Epstein’s death,” ABC News reported on Sunday.
The outlet reported that workers at the facility failed to check in on Epstein for hours before his death, despite protocols requiring inmates to be checked on every 30 minutes.
The two guards assigned to the Special Housing Unit where Epstein was detained were both on overtime. The Associated Press reported that one of the guards was not an actual corrections officer but had been assigned to the unit.
4. Skipper-Scott’s Jail Failed to Follow Protocols Before Epstein’s Death, DOJ Says
Attorney General Bill Barr said that he was “appalled” and “angry” to learn of “serious irregularities” at MCC.
“We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation,” Barr said, adding that the jail failed to “adequately secure this prisoner.”
Barr said the FBI and Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General are investigating the circumstances leading up to Epstein’s death.
“Let me assure you that this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein. Any co-conspirators should not rest easy. The victims deserve justice and they will get it,” Barr said.
5. Skipper-Scott Once Filed Civil Rights Suit Against Eric Holder for Employment Discrimination
In 2013, Skipper-Scott filed a civil rights complaint against former Attorney General Eric Holder in Mississippi Southern District Court alleging employment discrimination.
Skipper-Scott initially sued both the Justice Department and Holder but later amended her complaint to list Holder as the only defendant.
The details of the suit were not immediately clear but the suit was dismissed in 2016 after Skipper-Scott failed to properly serve process papers to Holder.