Two prison guards at the New York federal jail where convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is said to have died by suicide in August were arrested earlier this week for falsifying official logs, but a lawyer for one of them said she is willing to cooperate with federal investigators.
Tova Noel “did not make any efforts to frustrate the Government’s investigation” following the wealthy financier’s jailhouse suicide, lawyer Jason Foy told the New York Post on Thursday.
“In fact, Ms. Noel remains available to fully and truthfully cooperate with the Inspector General’s investigation, which is also geared toward uncovering the many problems that existed from the commencement of her employment [and] which continue to plague the Metropolitan Correctional Center,” Foy stated.
Noel, 31, and guard Michael Thomas, 41, were both indicted Tuesday for conspiracy and filing false reports because they allegedly didn’t check on Epstein and other inmates in the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
Reports said they ultimately found Epstein hanging inside his cell when they delivered breakfast at 6:30 a.m. on Aug. 10.
“During the night, instead of completing the required counts and rounds, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, the defendants, were seated at the correctional officers’ desk in the SHU common area (…approximately 15 feet from Epstein’s cell), used the computers, and moved around the SHU common area,” a grand jury and prosecutors alleged. “For a period of approximately two hours, Noel and Thomas sat at their desks without moving, and appeared to have been asleep.”
His death prompted widespread speculation as he has long been associated with prominent politicians, business luminaries, and celebrities.
Several weeks ago, a pathologist hired by Jeffrey Epstein’s brother, Mark Epstein, fueled more theories after saying neck fractures seen during the autopsy were more consistent with homicide than of suicide, what the New York City Medical Examiner’s office declared days after his death.
Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said Americans should get more answers about Epstein’s controversial death.
At Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Kennedy told Federal Bureau of Prisons Director Kathleen Sawyer the following:
“I know that you’re not in charge of these investigations. But you talk to the people who are. And I need you to take a very respectful message today: Tell the American people what happened. And don’t rush it so they don’t do a thorough investigation. But you and I both know [that] they can make this a top priority, and get it done more quickly than they normally would.”