Mayor de Blasio’s Administration for Children’s Services on Wednesday removed from their positions an assistant commissioner, a borough commissioner and two top officials in the agency’s general counsel’s office, sources said.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 7:11 PM
The hammer came down Wednesday on four top officials of the de Blasio administration’s child welfare agency who the city says dropped the ball in the tragic case of 6-year-old Zymere Perkins, the Daily News has learned.
The city Administration of Children’s Services removed from their positions an assistant commissioner, a borough commissioner and two top officials in the agency’s general counsels office, sources said.
All were suspended for 30 days without pay. Further discipline is possible as the investigation unfolds, the sources said.
The agency targeted the four after discovering serious gaps in oversight of the Perkins case. Already two case workers, two lower level supervisors and a manager have been put on desk duty pending review of the case.
Zymere Perkins died after being found covered in bruises in Harlem on Sept. 26.
All nine were involved at various levels monitoring the multiple prior abuse allegations involving the little boy’s family in the last two years leading up to Sept. 26, when his mother rushed his bruised and lifeless body to a Harlem hospital.
Since the boy’s death, ACS has begun an intense internal review to figure out where the agency failed the child.
As of Wednesday, ACS had identified the four top officials as failing to detect and remedy gaps in how the family was monitored and determine what steps were taken to vet abuse claims, sources said.
Geraldine Perkins, pictured Sept. 28 in Manhattan, faces child endangerment charges that could be upgraded to murder over the death of her son.
Between the summer of 2015 and April, ACS investigated five prior abuse and neglect complaints regarding Perkins but took no steps to remove the child from what turned out to be a hellish circumstance.
The boy’s mother, Geraldine, 26, and her boyfriend, Rysheim Smith, 42, were arrested on charges of child endangerment that could be upgraded to murder once the medical examiner determines the cause of death.
After her arrest, Perkins told the police that since January, her boyfriend regularly beat the boy with his fists and a broomstick and picked the child up by the neck.
Perkins’ boyfriend Rysheim Smith, pictured during his arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court on Sept. 28, allegedly beat the boy with his fists and a broomstick, ultimately killing him.
(Alec Tabak/for New York Daily News)
ACS Commissioner Gladys Carrion, who has come under criticism for refusing to talk about how her agency handled this case, took the internal disciplinary action against the four top officials late Wednesday.
ACS, the city Department of Investigation and the state Office of Children & Family Services are all currently conducting reviews of how the agency handled the Perkins case.
The News has identified caseworkers Nitza Sutton, Alanna Davis and Frances Okeke and supervisors Lydia Rosado and Renee Lawrence as being placed on modified duty pending review of the Perkins case.