ACS employee charged with felony counts

May 27, 2009 3:07:45 PM PDT
An ACS caseworker is charged with fourteen felony counts, as well as official misconduct, for failing to supervise properly children in her care and subsequently falsifying documents to cover-it up. Stephanie Sabouni, 27, of Brooklyn was arrested by investigators from the NYS Attorney General's office after an investigation by the city's Department of Investigation.

"ACS is at fault for everything," she told Eyewitness News as she was being led to arraignment court this morning, "I'm just being used."

Ms. Sabouni was an ACS employee for nearly two years, from October 2005-June 2007. She worked in the agency's Educational Neglect division, and was responsible for ensuring that children in her care were attending school, according to state investigators.

Among her responsibilities was to conduct a visit within 48 hours of being assigned a particular case, according to investigators.

She is accused of disregarding this requirement, and filing false paperwork to indicate the visits had been made. It is unclear how often this is alleged to have happened, but it would appear from the charges that this occurred at least half-a-dozen times.

To cover her tracks, according to a press release from the AG's office, "She made false entries into the ACS computer system reflecting that she had made home visits to several families with whom she never actually met."

"Covering up misdeeds by faking official computer records is a serious crime, and this case is even more troubling because it involves allegations that children in need were ignored," said Attorney General Andrew Cuomo in a statement just released by his office.

"While all public employees owe a duty to taxpayers, this individual was responsible for protecting our children and there is nothing more sacred than that. We will continue to hold public employees accountable when they do not live up to their obligations."

The judge has ordered the caseworker released after posting $1,500 cash bail.


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