A Bowdoin College trustee with ties to Jeffrey Epstein resigned from the board on Monday, the college said. 

James “Jes” Staley also resigned from his position as CEO of the London-based multinational bank Barclays, reportedly after The Financial Conduct Agency, a regulatory agency based in the United Kingdom, shared its preliminary findings of an investigation into what he told the bank’s board about his relationship with Epstein, the late sex offender and financier, Bloomberg reported. Staley has said he intends to contest the investigation’s findings.

The former bank executive has been on the Bowdoin College Board of Trustees since 2007. 

“We are grateful to Jes for his many years of devoted service to the college,” Doug Cook, a spokesperson for the school, said Monday.

Staley, then working for JPMorgan Chase, managed Epstein’s finances from 2000 to 2013, even after an internal investigation recommended the bank drop Epstein as a client. Staley’s name then appeared in Epstein’s “black book” of personal and professional contacts. Staley previously told media outlets that his relationship with Epstein ended in 2019.

Epstein was arrested in 2019 on child sex-trafficking charges and later hanged himself in a Manhattan jail. 

The college was already aware of Staley’s connection with Epstein, and reportedly determined in an independent investigation that “there was nothing in Jes Staley’s actions or behavior that warranted the board taking any action.” 

“Bowdoin’s Board of Trustees takes seriously any questions about the character and judgment of its members,” the college wrote in a statement to the Times Record last year. “If any new information comes to light as a result of the Financial Conduct Authority investigation, the board will consider it at that time.”

According to the Bowdoin Orient, the college’s student newspaper, College President Clayton Rose told a crowd in 2019 that Staley represents “all that is great about Bowdoin and the culture and the values here.” 

The newspaper also reported that Staley chaired the search committee that hired Rose in 2015. 

Staley’s resignation comes amid a student-led effort to remove him from the board. The Bowdoin Labor Alliance circulated a petition this semester calling for his removal.

“Given Staley’s history, we have little faith in his ability to uphold the college’s mission – a mission that includes zero-tolerance of sexual assault, a staunch commitment to free speech, and a commitment to environmental stewardship,” the petition reads.

The petition asks Bowdoin students, alumni, faculty, staff, parents and Brunswick residents to sign it. It had 427 signatures as of Monday afternoon.


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