Crime: M.I.T. Media Lab director resigns after criticism over Jeffrey Epstein funding - PressFrom - US
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CrimeM.I.T. Media Lab director resigns after criticism over Jeffrey Epstein funding

01:30  08 september  2019
01:30  08 september  2019 Source:   nbcnews.com

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The director of M . I . T .’s prestigious Media Lab stepped down on Saturday after an outcry over his financial ties with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein . “ After giving the matter a great deal of thought over the past several days and weeks

Joichi Ito, the director of the M . I . T . Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of The New York Times “In my fund -raising efforts for M . I . T . Media Lab , I invited him to the lab and visited several of his Acosta to Resign as Labor Secretary Over Jeffrey Epstein Plea Deal.

Joichi Ito, the director of Massachusetts Institute of Technology's prestigious Media Lab, resigned on Saturday in the wake of revelations about his acceptance of contributions from Jeffrey Epstein, the multimillionaire financier who died by suicide last month while in prison on federal charges of sex trafficking.

M.I.T. Media Lab director resigns after criticism over Jeffrey Epstein funding© Akio Kon Image: Joichi Ito

Ito's resignation came one day after The New Yorker detailed his financial ties to Jeffrey Epstein.

"Last night, The New Yorker published an article that contains deeply disturbing allegations about the engagement between individuals at the Media Lab and Jeffrey Epstein," M.I.T. President L. Rafael Reif wrote in a letter to the university's community.

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The proudly contrarian lab has been divided since its director disclosed that he had taken money from the disgraced financier. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta resigned after an outcry over his role in Mr. Epstein ’s 2008 plea deal. Director of M . I . T . Media Lab Apologizes for Ties to Jeffrey Epstein .

The M . I . T . Media Lab in Cambridge, Mass., received donations from Mr. Epstein through foundations that he controlled.CreditErik Jacobs for The New York The Media Lab was at a crossroads when he took over . It had struggled to raise funds , particularly following the recession that began in 2007, a

He called the allegations "extremely serious," saying that "they demand an immediate, thorough and independent investigation."

"This morning, I asked MIT's General Counsel to engage a prominent law firm to design and conduct this process. I expect the firm to conduct this review as swiftly as possible, and to report back to me and to the Executive Committee of the MIT Corporation, MIT's governing board," Reif continued.

He said that he received Ito's resignation on Saturday afternoon.

Reif called the acceptance of gifts from Epstein a "mistake of judgment" and said the university "is actively assessing how best to improve our policies, processes and procedures" in order to "prevent such mistakes in the future."

In an email to the university's provost, which was obtained by the The New York Times, Ito wrote: "After giving the matter a great deal of thought over the past several days and weeks, I think that it is best that I resign as director of the media lab and as a professor and employee of the Institute, effective immediately."

MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito resigns amid Jeffrey Epstein scandal

MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito resigns amid Jeffrey Epstein scandal The move follows a New Yorker report that the Media Lab had a deeper funding relationship with the convicted sex offender than previously acknowledged and that it worked to disguise its contacts with the disgraced financier.

Ethan Zuckerman has resigned as director of the MIT Media Lab ’s Center for Civic Media after he said he learned the research group’s ties to the late financier Jeffrey Epstein “went much deeper” than had been disclosed previously.In a post on Medium

MIT Media Lab director Joichi Ito resigned on Saturday following a public outcry over his financial ties with financier Jeffrey Epstein , The New York " After giving the matter a great deal of thought over the past several days and weeks, I think that it is best that I resign as director of the media lab and

Anand Giridharadas, an MSNBC contributor and former New York Times columnist, resigned as a juror for M.I.T.'s Disobedience Award after the Times and other news outlets reported that Ito had taken $525,000 from Epstein for the lab and another $1.2 million for his private investment funds.

"In recent days, as the revelations about Joi Ito's deep ties to Jeffrey Epstein became known, I reached out to him and associates of his multiple times to raise questions and ask him to take responsibility," Giridharadas said in a statement emailed to NBC News on Saturday. "I was unable to get a response from him."

Giridharadas said the New Yorker article, written by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow, showed him that "it was apparently easier to get Joi's attention if you were someone like Jeffrey Epstein. Very responsive guy, if plutocratic predators were the ones emailing."

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MIT Media Lab staffers were so accustomed to Epstein ’s anonymity they referred to him as 'he who must not be Staff of the MIT Media Lab working for the lab 's director , Joichi Ito, reportedly referred to criminal The foundation said that Epstein resigned in 2007 and the tax documents were an error.

Media Lab director Joi Ito has come under sustained criticism for taking money from Epstein , who cultivated links to many prominent scientists, since 2013. Ito reportedly said at Wednesday’s meeting the funding totalled 5,000. Epstein had in 2008 pleaded guilty to a charge of soliciting prostitution

In his statement, Giridharadas said he felt that Ito did the "right thing by resigning," but added other universities, like Harvard, needed to be scrutinized for their alleged ties to Epstein.

"Universities are sacred institutions. We can no longer let them be turned into drive-through reputational laundromats for rich scoundrels," Giridharadas said.

Accused sex-trafficker Epstein, 66, died by suicide on Aug. 10 in a federal prison cell in Manhattan. He had previously served 13 months of an 18-month sentence for two Florida prostitution charges under a controversial 2008 deal that also required him to register as a sex offender.

M.I.T. declined to comment beyond Reif's letter to the community. NBC News was not immediately able to reach Ito for comment.

Harvard accepted over $8 million in donations from Jeffrey Epstein. The university plans to redirect unused funds toward supporting victims of human trafficking and sexual assault..
"Harvard is not perfect, but you have my commitment as president that we will always strive to be better," the university's president wrote.

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