U.S. Labor Secretary Alex Acosta has announced his resignation on Friday after weeks of furor over a plea deal given to billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein, a registered sex offender.
President Donald Trump also made the announcement of Acosta’s departure at the White House, saying it was his decision that was made in a phone call to the president Friday morning.
“I said you don’t have to do this,” Trump reportedly said about the resignation.
Acosta has been under fire over the past few weeks after new charges were placed against Epstein alleging he abused dozens of underage girls, some as young as 14, and conspired to commit sex trafficking.
The labor secretary oversaw a favorable plea deal for the billionaire, in which Epstein was formerly let off with a significantly lighter sentence in a secret deal that saw him serve about a year in prison and had him register as a sex offender. He served most of his term in work release.
He was able to get out of a possible life sentence in that case, which involved soliciting a minor for prostitution.