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 Administration for Children’s Services removed from their positions an assistant commissioner, a borough commissioner and two other top officials in the agency’s general counsel’s office, officials said.
All were suspended for 30 days without pay. Further discipline is possible as the investigation unfolds.
The agency targeted the four after discovering serious gaps in oversight of the Perkins case. Two caseworkers, two lower-level supervisors and a manager were put on desk duty earlier this month.
Zymere Perkins’ ACS caseworker closed his file early
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 two years leading up to Sept. 26, when his mother rushed his bruised and lifeless body to St. Luke’s Hospital, where he died.
ACS has begun an intense internal review to figure out where the agency failed.
“We have identified serious concerns related to ACS’ supervision of the staff who worked with this family,” said Commissioner Gladys Carrion. “As a result, ACS has made several disciplinary decisions impacting four staff who failed to follow up about gaps in case practice. As we continue to review this case, we may take other disciplinary action as appropriate.”
Geraldine Perkins, pictured Sept. 28 in Manhattan, faces child endangerment charges that could be upgraded to murder over the death of her son.
(James Keivom/New York Daily News)
Between the summer of 2015 and April, ACS investigated five abuse and neglect complaints regarding Zymere, but took no steps to remove him from the hellish home.
Slain Zymere Perkins remembered at NYC funeral funded by City
The boy’s mother, Geraldine, 26, and her boyfriend, Rysheim Smith, 42, were arrested on child endangerment charges that could be upgraded to murder once the medical examiner determines a 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)
Carrion, who has refused to talk about how her agency handled this case, took the internal disciplinary action against the four officials late Wednesday.
ACS, the city Department of Investigation and the state Office of Children and Family Services are all conducting reviews of how the agency handled Zymere’s case.
De Blasio again refuses to give details on Zymere Perkins’ death
The News identified ACS workers Nitza Sutton, Alanna Davis, Frances Okeke, Lydia Rosado and Renee Lawrence as the five initially placed on modified duty pending a review of the case.
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