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Death of Abused Girl Leads to N.Y. Welfare Office Shake-Up

January 19, 2006|From Newsday

NEW YORK — The recent death of 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown has prompted disciplinary action against six childwelfare workers as well as a city investigation of their agency.

"These staffers failed to take many of the basic and important steps in this tragic case," John B. Mattingly, commissioner of the city's Administration for Children's Services, said Wednesday. "The staff made poor investigative decisions and gave inadequate attention to what were clear warning signs of the danger Nixzmary Brown was facing."

Nixzmary was found dead last week, allegedly beaten to death by her stepfather; he and Nixzmary's mother have been charged in the case.

Mattingly suspended two veteran supervisors and a caseworker. One supervisor was involved in the May 2005 investigation that ended up closed despite the fact that Nixzmary missed more than 45 days of school; the caseworker and the other suspended supervisor oversaw failed attempts to get into the victim's house.

Three other employees could be reprimanded, suspended or fired, the agency announced.

The Department of Investigation, which handles cases of misconduct and corruption by city employees, will also conduct a review, Mattingly said.

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