Gladys Carrión, the commissioner of the city's Administration for Children's Services, has stepped down from the position, the Mayor's office announced on Monday. Carrión's resignation comes in the wake of multiple child abuse-related deaths.
"Gladys has spent four decades serving the public with excellence and an unparalleled commitment to the children and families of New York," Mayor de Blasio said in a statement. "Gladys’ leadership and reforms have ushered in a heightened level of accountability and performance at the Administration for Children’s Services."
De Blasio also said that "the search process is already underway" for Carrión's successor.
Carrión served as ACS commissioner for three years.
"I have struggled with this decision but have come to the conclusion that it is best for my well-being," she wrote in a letter to Mayor de Blasio, which was obtained by the Daily News. "After 40 years of working on behalf of children and families, it is time for me to retire." Her letter did not mention the recent abuse-related deaths of Zymere Perkins or Jaden Jordan.
A report released by the Department of Investigation in May alleged that ACS had consistently failed to investigate and report child abuse, hold foster care providers to a high standard, and maintain accurate records. The report also found that ACS often took more than a month to investigate child abuse allegations.
In October, the agency came under fire again after the death of six-year-old Zymere Perkins, who died after being beaten with a broomstick. His mother, Geraldine Perkins, had five child abuse allegations on her record and the medical examiner said that the boy died of "fatal child abuse syndrome."
"Losing a child is unbearable," Carrión reportedly said during a council hearing regarding Perkins's death on October 31st. "It is my responsibility—one that I take seriously."
In the aftermath of Perkins's death, Mayor de Blasio announced that the agency would be reformed, and five ACS staffers were placed on administrative duty while Perkins's case was under investigation.
The Department of Investigation probed ACS again earlier this month after three-year-old Jordan was found badly beaten in Brooklyn. The toddler was beaten into a coma by his mother's boyfriend and died after being taken off life support.
"As Commissioner Carrión steps down, all of us must step up our push to reform the Administration for Children's Services," Public Advocate Letitia James said in a statement. "The mission to reform ACS is one we can't afford to fail. Our children's welfare depends on it."