The death of Nixzmary Brown, the fourth death at the hands of abusive parents in recent months and whose abuse case was supposedly being investigated by the Administration for Children's Services, has led to an agency "shake-up": Three employees were suspended and three others were reassigned, with punishment to be determined. Of the employees who were suspended, one was the supervisor who let an investigation about possible abuse close, even though the 7 year old had missed 47 days of school, and the others were a supervisor and caseworker who, as Newsday puts it "oversaw the fiasco in which officials failed to gain the needed access to the victim's house." The social service workers' union rep criticized the actions, saying that more training is needed, not suspensions. ACS Commissioner John Mattingly also realigned ACS management, making his deputy commissioner the president of child safety and creating a Child Safety Task Forse.
And Brown's emotion-filled funeral was yesterday at St. Mary's Church on Grand Street. The only family memeber of Cesar Rodriguez, Brown's stepfather who police believe fatally hit Brown last week, to attend was his sister. From the city, Schools Chanceller Joel Klein and Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs (who is in charge of ACS) attended, and Reverand Robert O'Neill gave a passionate eulogy:
"She was touched by evil here in this life, but she is beyond that now...She is a witness for us to all those children ... who are suffering, not just here in New York but all around the world."
Marines carried her coffin from the church and she was buried at a cemetery in Cypress Hills, Queens. Brown's grandmother, Maria Gonzalez, is looking to adopt her other five grandchildren, who are in foster care.
Photograph from Newsday