Inner City Press

In Other Media-eg New Statesman, AJE, FP, Georgia, NYTAzerbaijan, CSM Click here to contact us     .

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis

Share |   

Follow on TWITTER
SDNY tweets
MRL on Patreon

Home -

These reports are usually available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis


(FP Twitterati 100, 2013)

ICP on YouTube
Sept 24, 2013

UN: Sri Lanka


FOIA Finds  

Google, Asked at UN About Censorship, Moved to Censor the Questioner, Sources Say, Blaming UN - Update - Editorial

Support this work by buying this book

Click on cover for secure site orders

also includes "Toxic Credit in the Global Inner City"




Bank Beat

Freedom of Information

How to Contact Us

After Epstein Death Leads To Indictment of Noel and Thomas Other MCC Officer At SDNY 15A

By Matthew Russell Lee, Scoop Patreon, thread

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Nov 19 – After Jeffrey Epstein reportedly committed suicide in the Metropolitan Correctional Center now on November 19 this indictment of MCC officers Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, who will be presented later today in Courtroom 15A of 500 Pearl Street. There, Inner City Press found a dozen MCC officers milling around, in Crisis Support Team jackets. Inner City Press tweet.

From the indictment: "On or about August 10, 2019, TOVA NOEL and MICHAEL  THOMAS, the defendants, in  dereliction of their duties as  as  correctional officers at the Metropolitan Correctional Center ("MCC"), repeatedly failed to perform mandated counts of prisoners  under their watch in the MCC's Special Housing Unit ("SHU").  Instead, for substantial portions of their shifts, NOEL and THOMAS  sat at their desk, browsed the internet, and moved around the  common area of the SHU. To conceal their failure to perform their duties, NOEL and THOMAS repeatedly signed false certifications  attesting to having conducted multiple counts of inmates when, truth and in fact, they never conducted such counts. As a result  of those false statements, the MCC believed prisoners in the SHU were being regularly monitored and accounted for when, in fact, as  a result of the defendants' conduct, no correctional officer conducted any count or round of the SHU from approximately 10:30 p.m. on August 9 until approximately 6:30 a.m. on August 10, at which time, as alleged herein, NOEL and THOMAS discovered the body  of an MCC inmate, Jeffrey Epstein, who had committed suicide  overnight while unobserved." Inner City Press will have more on this - it covered the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Magistrates Court on November 18, and also the courtroom of SDNY Judge Torres, with it lights on the blink.

Epstein's death came eleven days after Inner City Press exclusively reported irregularities at the MCC including Epstein then being allowed to use without supervision all day, every day one of the only two legal visit rooms for prisons in the Special Housing Unit of the MCC.

  Now on August 12 after the Daily News' intrepid Stephen Brown called District Judge Richard Berman's chambers on behalf of the SDNY Press Room requesting comment and was told that "Jeffrey Epstein's death is a tragedy to everyone involved in this case," several questions arise.

  Will Judge Berman, or another judge, inquire not only what happened in the hours before Epstein's death, but also the days? Why was Epstein allowed to spend so much time presumably outside of any MCC filming in the legal meeting room? Was what took place in there all legal? We'll have more on this.

   Other defense lawyers exclusively complained to Inner City Press about not being able to see on a timely basis their clients in the MCC. Now what will be done about the MCC's (lack of) supervision, including by U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Richard M. Berman?

   Epstein had shifts of lawyers purporting to meet with him all day, in a room where the other Criminal Justice Act lawyers said Epstein had access to the Internet. The CJA lawyers had to wait up to four hours to see their clients.

  "It's outrageous," one of the lawyers told Inner City Press. "El Chapo is the only other one who tried this, but he was in a special unit so it didn't impact the rest of us." More on Patreon here.

  Other child sex defendants have conditions that they cannot use the Internet. They are also supervised, especially but not only when on suicide watch. But with Epstein paying lawyers to meet with him all day in the MCC, he was allowed to use the 'Net and presumably more.

At a July 31 status conference his neck did not come up, only the scheduling of now unnecessary discovery and motions and a tentative trial date: June 8, 2020 at 9 am.

 Judge Berman asked the two sides to agree on timing and they mostly did - except that Epstein's lawyers said they preferred a September 2020 trial date. The government said there was a public interest in moving more quickly and that agreeing to June was already a compromise for them. So Berman penciled in June and excluded time under the Speedy Trial Act until them. Now what will he do, about the suicide and the questions it raises?

  The government said all discovery would be provided by October 31 except for some material from devices seized in New York being evaluated by the FBI. A first round of defense motions were due September 13, for oral argument on October 28 at 10 am.

 Substantive motions were due January 10 from the defense, February 10 from the government and replies February 24; oral argument on these will be on March 12. And then, it was said, the June 8 trial. Now no more.

  Epstein's lawyers in asking for September said they wanted to assess if Epstein could exercise his Constitutional rights - all of them, it now seems, including a natural law right to self erasure - while in the MCC. They were implying that Epstein could not work on his defense while in the MCC. Many people do it. But Jeffrey Epstein... is Jeffrey Epstein, rather like UNSG Antonio Guterres is Antonio Guterres. Inner City Press will stay on this and other cases in the SDNY.

 Meanwhile the SDNY prosecutors more quietly cut a cooperation agreement with another child sex trafficking Anthony Darby.

   Inner City Press had gone to the SDNY courtroom of Judge Paul Engelmayer to cover another matter. But inside the courtroom a shackled man was pleading guilty. The courtroom deputy came over to say this was not the case Inner City Press had come to cover. But Inner City Press stayed to cover it. Soon Assistant US Attorney Wolf requested a sidebar with Judge Engelmayer.

  The reason quickly became clear. Darby was pleading guilty to 14 counts, sex trafficking of minor and conspiracy, in exchange for cooperation he would get a 5K1.1 letter - in April 2020. Judge Engelmayer to his credit, unlike at least two other SDNY Judges, did not lawlessly order the Press to leave. And for that reason for now Inner City Press is reporting only these bare bones facts: that amid criticism of the Jeffrey Epstein non prosecution agreement, this Darby deal is taking place in the SDNY. Is it a good deal? We'll have more on this.

  That Jeffrey Epstein, now in the Metropolitan Correctional Center by Foley Square, would be denied bail on July 18 at 11:30 am was widely predicted. On July 17, after Judge Berman moved the time for his decision from 9:30 to 11:30 am the next day, Assistant US Attorney Alison Moe wrote to him: "The Government respectfully submits this letter to briefly respond to one aspect of the defendant’s July 16, 2019 letter (ECF No. 24), and to provide the Court with additional information regarding the defendant’s foreign passport. The defendant’s July 16, 2019 letter asserts: “[A]s for the Austrian passport the government trumpets, it expired 32 years ago. And the government offers nothing to suggest—and certainly no evidence—that Epstein ever used it.” (ECF No. 24 at 7). In fact, the passport contains numerous ingress and egress stamps, including stamps that reflect use of the passport to enter France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and Saudi Arabia in the 1980s. The Government further notes that the defendant’s submission does not address how the defendant obtained the foreign passport and, more concerning, the defendant has still not disclosed to the Court whether he is a citizen or legal permanent resident of a country other than the United States." Watch this site.

On July 15 SDNY Judge Richard M. Berman asked five questions after saying he wouldn't rule until July 18 at 9:30 am in his courtroom. Inner City Press thread on Twitter here. More on Patreon, here.

 In response to Judge Berman's question on who in the Department of Justice signed off on the non prosecution agreement, Weinberg cited the current Under Secretary of Treasury, who is Sigal P. Mandelker, and also Mark Filip.

Inner City Press will continue to cover this and other SDNY and 2nd Circuit cases - watch this site, and there is more on Patreon, here.


Feedback: Editorial [at]

Box 20047, Dag Hammarskjold Station NY NY 10017

Other, earlier Inner City Press are listed here, and some are available in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.

 Copyright 2006-2019 Inner City Press, Inc. To request reprint or other permission, e-contact Editorial [at] for