Ex-ACS Worker Charged In Brooklyn Girl’s Death Speaks Out

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The supervisor at the Administration for Children’s Services who was charged in connection with the death of a starved and beaten 4-year-old girl is speaking out.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Chereece Bell said she asked her superiors to transfer caseworker Damon Adams out of her Brooklyn unit three months before Marchella Brett-Pierce died claiming that he couldn’t handle his workload.

Bell said she and her bosses also discussed taking Adams’ cases away from him but that didn’t happen. Adams’ lawyer tells the Journal he can’t confirm that.

Bell and Adams were charged with criminally negligent homicide – the first such prosecution of ACS case workers in New York City. Both pleaded not guilty  last week to the charges.

The ACS did not comment.

Adams was accused of never visiting Brett-Pierce who was beaten and weighed just 18 pounds when she died in September, and with falsifying records after her death.

Bell also faced charges for failing to monitor his work. Her lawyer said they shouldn’t be held responsible.

The little girl’s mother, Carlotta Brett-Pierce, was charged in November with second-degree murder. Her grandmother, Loretta Brett, was charged with second-degree manslaughter in the high-profile case.

The ACS was supposed to adopt new policies following the death of 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown in 2006. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes vowed to investigating the entire agency.

  • jackie

    for one they both look bored to tears, but all this about them not getting paid enough, there are other jobs out there, they didnt have to stay employed w/this company! that is what they chose to do,,so yes, they are responsible! a little life was lost because, these two were too busy passing the buck or the crack pipe one!

  • anjanince

    I am certainly not going to support incompetency; nevertheless, how many of you out there would do the thankless ASC work for the pitiful amount paid to workers? These are government jobs, remember. And, we all know that government workers are making a financial homerun doing easy jobs. Low pay, low standards. No certifed and professional social worker, professional medical person, or professional counselor is going to work for such wages. You don’t want to pay ANY government workers wages that are commensurate to the job responsibilities, but, then you get enraged about the services that you do, or don’t, get. Hypocrites!!!

    • Rand

      B.S. We’re not talking only about doing your job here. We are talking about one human being looking out for another human being. Alright so you don’t get paid enough and your working conditions suck and you hate your boss. Does that give you the right to ignore the condition of the child that was clear just from looking at her? It shows no heart, no moral compass, no compassion, no humanity on the part of not just these individuals but of the entire system.

      • Saddened

        True. I did this sort of work, and it’s terribly draining if done conscientiously, but rewarding too, especially if your work helps families survive. The pay is lousy, the working conditions are awful and exhausting, and there can be real fear when dealing with angry & not-so-ex mental patients!

        When I was wrung out, I found another, equally low-paid, but less stressful civil service job! No one there ever threatened to follow me or my supervisor home with a knife.

        Choose compassion, or go elsewhere.

    • Rand

      And yes, government workers are making a financial homerun working at their jobs. Pensions for life. Healthcare benefits that they pay nothing for. Retire at 45. Lean on that shovel, phone, curb, lamppost all day long watching everyone else working. That’s not just a homerun, that’s a grand slam.

    • Anyone with a brain


      Up yours, bizzatch! Failure is failure, regardless of how much you are paid.

    • ruby

      Social workers have to have a 4 year degree…..namely….a bach. deg. in social work…….in most states anyway……most of those people could not imagine doing anything else ….most enjoy taking children ….even the ones they shouldn’t…..this is clearly a case of neglect….someone that has a higher standard than the parents….and an oath to protect children……they destroy more lives by taking the ones they shouldn’t and ignoring the ones they should,………

  • suzan

    One look at that baby and action wouldve been taken to protect her.
    Instead the looked the other way and LIED about it. Yes they failed her the same way her family did. They should lose their free lives….They think they were overwhelmed! They will understand that phrase sitting in jail.

  • Omoni

    How convenient and easy it is for people to sit and pass judgment from your livingrooms! None of you know the sacrifices that ACS workers make to protect the City’s children. Some of us rob our own children of quality time and attention because we work late on a daily basis. Everyone’s attention is on this one child that died in the very hands of those legally responsible for her (her mother and grandmother). Mr. Adams was a dedicated and diligent worker but was overwhelmed. Just as I am right now with all of you judgmental nincompoops!!!! Get your minds right and try one day with ACS and see how it feels!

    • skynyrt

      We know that neither ever visited a girl that weighed 18lbs at her death.

  • BigEz

    I imagine this is one of many cases.
    Very sad.

  • E holder

    I’ll bet these ACS workers were on Facebook during working hours and therefore too busy to fulfill their work obligations.

    • Dan

      I’ll bet you were supposed to be fulfilling your work obligations when you wrote your comment. But I’m sure there’s no reason for concern because I doubt you have a job that has any importance what-so-ever.

  • Jack Black

    Quota system in effect and here are the results!!!

  • Richard T.

    Lock them both up and throw away the key. We need to set a standard here, and let them serve as a WARNING to others who fail to do their job and then try to hide it.

  • Carlos Liriano

    there got to be better people out there who will do they job the way it is supposed to be done, ACS is a fault, they hire anybody to be supervisors and case workers

    • Khalilah

      So true Carlos….

  • Khalilah

    My problem with this whole situation, is that they didn’t do their job and then they tried to cover it up. If they were doing what was required of them like visiting the home and the child still got hurt, then I will be a bit sympathetic about the situation, but they didn’t. So yes they are responsible for this child’s death. I don’t feel sorry for them. They knew that the city was cracking down on these ACS workers allowing children to slip through the crack because they were not doing what was required of them.

  • Gregg

    Poor children ! People have become so incensitive. Many good caring people looking for work ! The supervisors should all be charged !!

  • Moral Truth

    Typical behavior from these tpyes of peoples and thats the moral truth.

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