new york city acs attorney

255 West 36th Street, Suite 1104

New York, NY 10018





On January 13, a former ACS supervisor, Roger Moore, came forward to discuss with the New York Daily News the failure of the ACS and how opportunities were lost because of another child-murder involving a 16-month old boy and other factors.[19] Moore discussed that because of the issue of the drowning of the little boy in a bathtub, the issue of Brown wasn't even discussed.[19] There were discussions of a lack of follow-up work not being done by caseworkers and supervisors in Brooklyn regarding the abuse in Brown's case.[19] ACS Commissioner John Mattingly had also made comments.[19] He had mentioned to the Daily News editorial board that there were various methods that could have been used, but weren't.[19] He mentioned that the ACS could have brought pressure on Brown's family to reveal more about the girl's condition; that they could have paid more attention to reports from Brown's school staff and could have sought a warrant to enter into Brown's home, but none of these measures were used.[19] Mayor Michael Bloomberg had entered into the discussion by asking in this Daily News article: "Why the caseworkers didn't push further, harder - that's what we are investigating today."[19]



4-year-old Marchella Pierce weighed just 18.8 pounds when she died, about half the normal weight for a child her age.
Jurors deliberated for less than an hour before finding the mother, Carlotta Brett-Pierce, guilty of the most serious charge in the 2010 death of her child, Marchella Pierce, in a case that shined new light on cracks in New York City’s child welfare system.

As she was led away, Ms. Brett-Pierce said she had been falsely charged. Her lawyer, Alan Stutman, said that he would appeal and that the case was more about a system that failed a mother who needed help.

Ms. Brett-Pierce faces a possible life term in prison. She is scheduled to be sentenced June 6 by Justice Patricia M. DiMango of State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, who has presided over other prominent child-abuse cases and is known for giving stiff sentences.

A jury is expected to begin deliberations on Thursday in a manslaughter case against Ms. Brett-Pierce’s mother, Loretta Brett, in Marchella’s death. Two caseworkers for the city’s Administration for Children’s Services have also been charged, making them among the first social workers in the country to be held criminally responsible for the death of a child on their watch. They have pleaded not guilty.

Ms. Brett-Pierce was on the radar of the city’s child welfare system after she gave birth to a boy in 2009 who tested positive for drugs. She was in drug counseling, but no abuse cases were opened, and the agency admitted it did not do enough to help her or her three children.

In 2006, Marchella was born premature and with severe medical problems, according to testimony, and she spent most of her life in hospitals. She was finally sent home with her mother and grandmother in February 2010. Seven months later, she was dead, her ribs visible through bruised, scarred and scratched skin. When the police found her on Sept. 2, 2010, she had 60 adult doses of Claritin and 30 doses of Benadryl in her system, a medical examiner said. Her stomach contained one kernel of corn. She weighed 18.8 pounds, half the weight of an average child her age.

“To me, at the time, it didn’t look bad,” Ms. Brett-Pierce said while testifying in the trial. “She looked like a child who wasn’t sitting on her booty in the hospital all day. She was outside running around for the first time in her life.”




The boy, Jacqil Degraffenreid of Shepherd Avenue in Cypress Hills, was discovered unconscious and unresponsive early Saturday after his mother returned home, according to the police. She called 911.

Jacqil had apparently been left in the care of his mother’s companion, Tyree Wright, for about four hours, the police said.

It was during that time that Jacqil suffered massive injuries to several major organs, the authorities said. According to Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the city medical examiner’s office, his death was caused by “lacerations of the liver and pancreas with internal hemorrhage due to blunt-impact injuries.” It was not immediately clear what had caused the boy’s injuries.

Mr. Wright, 19, was charged with felony assault and acting in a manner injurious to a child. Sandy Silverstein, a spokesman for the Kings County district attorney’s office, said there was a “good chance” that the charges would be upgraded to murder. Mr. Wright was awaiting arraignment on Sunday night.

Detectives from the 75th Precinct questioned Jacqil’s mother, whose name was not released, on Saturday, and Mr. Silverstein said that the case was still under investigation. The police said Sunday that the mother was not considered a suspect.

Michael J. Fagan, a spokesman for the Administration for Children’s Services, said the agency was investigating the case. “To my knowledge, there are no other children” in the household, he said.

When a woman who identified herself as Jacqil’s aunt, Arleen Degraffenreid, was reached by telephone at her Manhattan home on Sunday afternoon, she said she preferred not to talk about what happened. Asked about the charges against Mr. Wright, she replied, “You know more than I know.”