Friday, December 16, 2016
The three child-welfare workers on the chopping block over the beating death of 6-year-old Zymere Perkins include a caseworker who claimed he had no bruises, despite evidence to the contrary, and a supervisor who merely said he didn’t “disclose any abuse, The Post has learned.
Nitza Sutton, Lydia Rosado and Francis Okeke were identified by a source Thursday as the Administration for Children’s Services employees whom Mayor de Blasio has ordered fired.
Six other, unidentified workers face suspension and demotion, said de Blasio — who on Monday heaped praise on their boss, ACS Commissioner Gladys Carrion, when she said she was retiring.
City Hall announced the sackings and suspensions Tuesday, after the release of a scathing report by the state Office of Children and Family Services, which ordered the appointment of a state-approved monitor to oversee ACS due to lapses that led to Zymere’s Sept. 26 death.
Zymere’s mother, Geraldine Perkins, and her boyfriend, Rysheim Smith, have been charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Authorities suspect that Smith fatally bludgeoned Zymere with a broomstick.
A source said Sutton, who was Zymere’s caseworker, and Rosado, who was Sutton’s supervisor, were both referenced — but not identified by name — in the state’s review of an April 18 incident that sparked the last of five ACS abuse investigations before Zymere’s death.
The role of Okeke, an ACS supervisor, was not clear.
The OCFS report said Zymere showed up at school in apparent pain on April 18 and was sent to the nurse’s office, where the caregiver found his legs covered in scratches and bruises.
Sutton later claimed to have seen only very faint, reddish “irritation” on Zymere’s legs, which OCFS called “inconsistent with the detailed documentation provided by the school nurse.”
On April 25, Rosado conducted a “5-Day Review” that “documented there were no recent marks observed on the child as reported, and that the subject child did not disclose any abuse,” OCFS said, Sutton closed out the case as “unfounded” on May 10.
ACS said all three workers were suspended pending termination.
A female relative said Sutton recently moved out of her East Flatbush home, and no one answered phone numbers listed in her name. Rosado and Okeke both declined to comment.