A former Palm Beach County Sheriff’s employee is making new accusations about the way convicted sex offender and Palm Beach mega-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein was treated during his controversial 2008 jail sentence.
Teresa Cook spoke exclusively to CBS12 News Investigates.
She worked for PBSO for nine years and was a Corrections Support Personnel worker when Epstein was housed in a dormitory at the Stockade.
“We were given a briefing that he was a billionaire that was high profile,” Cook said. “He was not supposed to have his doors locked or anything.”
Cook said employees were not told why Epstein’s cell should be kept unlocked.
Cook claims she saw Epstein move about freely through the dormitory, sometimes without any clothes.
She said if another inmate did that, there would be repercussions – but in her opinion, Epstein instead received special privileges like access to a television and a hot water cooler.
“He was treated like he was a celebrity,” she said. “I saw Lieutenants speak to him eye to eye when they would cuss other inmates out.”
Cook left the Sheriff’s office in 2016.
When she learned that State Senator Lauren Book was pushing for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate how the PBSO handled Epstein’s sentence and work release, she contacted Senator Book to report what she knew.
“I hope it sets some records straight,” she said.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Cook’s employment but was not able to comment further due to the ongoing FDLE investigation into the Sheriff’s handling of Epstein’s case.