Gov. Ron DeSantis acted responsibly this week by directing the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to take over a criminal investigation into the handling of the Jeffery Epstein underage sex trafficking case in South Florida. There are too many obvious conflicts of interest involving the Palm Beach County sheriff and the state attorney, and an objective investigation by FDLE is the correct approach. The only question is what took so long for a governor who in other situations has been too quick to intervene into the business of locally elected officials.
In an apparently coordinated effort, Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw wrote to DeSantis Tuesday and asked that FDLE take over the investigation Bradshaw had initiated of his own department’s treatment of Epstein. DeSantis responded by seeking a broader FDLE investigation beyond the issues involving Epstein’s work-release to include “other irregularities concerning the case’s disposition’’ by a former Palm Beach County state attorney. He also issued an executive order taking the investigation away from Palm Beach State Attorney Dave Aronberg and giving it to long-time State Attorney Bruce Colton, who covers four counties north of Palm Beach County. Given the numerous questions, DeSantis took the responsible route in seeking a fresh, independent investigation.