HARLEM — The death of 6-year-old Zymere Perkins has prompted city Comptroller Scott Stringer to investigate the Administration for Children's Services.
His is the latest probe into the agency to start since the boy died last month, apparently after being repeatedly abused by his mother and her boyfriend. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the city Department of Investigations have both launched investigations.
Stringer vowed to determine if the ACS took notice of a June 2016 audit by his office that found the agency conducted “shoddy, inconsistent, and incomplete investigations into child abuse.”
“Since 2005, 30 children have died on ACS’s watch, and... Zymere Perkins’ name joined ones like Nixzmary Brown, Marchella Pierce, and Michael Segarra,” Stringer said.
“This new probe will once again shine a light on an agency that has for too long operated in the shadows and left our children vulnerable to abuse."
Zymere’s mother, 26-year-old Geraldine Perkins, was the subject of five previous child abuse allegations, but the boy was still allowed to return home to his mother, DNAinfo New York previously reported.
Police believe Zymere endured months of physical abuse at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend, 42-year-old Rysheim Smith, while living in the family’s squalid Harlem apartment.
The day he died, Smith hit Zymere with a wooden broomstick until the young boy went limp, officials said.
An autopsy also showed that the boy had healed fractured ribs and his body was covered in bruises.
Perkins and Smith were charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
Stringer's reforms made in the June audit included making sure ACS managers and supervisors completed their case reviews on-time, completed all steps of investigating child abuse allegations and streamlined and distributed policy and procedures to staff.
ACS representatives have declined to comment on Zymere's case, saying the circumstances of his death are being investigated by the agency along with the NYPD.