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Suspended ACS Workers in Zymere Perkins Case Return in Demoted Positions

By Dartunorro Clark | November 16, 2016 3:09pm
 Zymere Perkins died late September after enduring months of physical abuse by his mother's boyfriend, officials said.
Zymere Perkins died late September after enduring months of physical abuse by his mother's boyfriend, officials said.
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HARLEM — The four Administration for Children's Services workers who were suspended last month in the wake of 6-year-old Zymere Perkins' beating death have returned to work in lower-level roles.

The four workers returned Monday to non-managerial or entry-level positions after the agency placed them on a 30-day suspension without pay, said spokeswoman Carol Cáceres.

The workers were the supervisors of the staff who worked directly on the Perkins case.

Prior to the demotion, the workers included an assistant commissioner and a borough commissioner in the agency’s Child Protective Division and two managers in its General Counsel’s office, including a director and an assistant director.

Now, the two managers from the General Counsel’s office will be non-managerial senior level attorneys, with one handling human resources issues and the other attorney reviewing documents and editing Equal Employment Opportunity position statements, Cáceres said.

One of the commissioners from the Division of Child Protection has been demoted to a Child Protective Manager, which Cáceres said is “an entry-level managerial position.”

The other will be a Child Protective Supervisor, also a non-managerial position, she said.

“Both will continue to handle day-to-day child protective and administrative functions, but neither will serve the operational oversight roles that they did in their prior positions,” she added.

The five child protective staff directly involved with this case remain on administrative duty as the agency continues to conduct an internal audit.

The agency previously said these workers “failed to follow up about gaps in case practice.”

“ACS continues our thorough internal review of the Zymere Perkins case and will continue to take disciplinary action as appropriate,” Cáceres said.

Police believe Zymere, who died late September, endured months of physical abuse at the hands of his mother, 26-year-old Geraldine Perkins, and her boyfriend, 42-year-old Rysheim Smith.

The day he died, Smith hit Zymere with a wooden broomstick until the young boy went limp, officials said.

The city’s Medical Examiner ruled Zymere’s death a homicide last month.

The initial autopsy in September showed he had bruises on his torso, finger marks on his neck, several fractured ribs that had healed and a contusion to his head, according to the ME.

The homicide ruling confirmed that the cause of death was “acute and chronic abuse and neglect.”

Zymere's mother had been investigated by ACS five times for abuse and some of those cases were substantiated. In a jailhouse interview, she told DNAinfo New York that her boyfriend was to blame for the death.