David Hansell named new head of New York City ACS

ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
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Political reporter Dave Evans has the latest details.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A new commissioner was named Tuesday to New York City's embattled Administration for Children's Services.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced David Hansell as the head of the department.

He has worked in the administrations of New York mayors Rudy Guiliani and Michael Bloomberg, and Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Hansell also helped oversee federal child welfare programs.

He was the staff lawyer for the Gay Men's Health Crisis group in the 1980s during the city's AIDS crisis.

Former Commissioner Gladys Carrion stepped down from ACS in December in the wake of the deaths of 6-year-old Zymere Perkins in September and 3-year-old Jaden Jordan earlier this month.

In October, Carrion broke down in tears while testifying before New York City Council on child abuse cases.

She called Perkins' death "her responsibility." City officials have acknowledged that the mother, Geraldine Perkins, was investigated five times for abuse allegations.

Zymere died Sept. 26 after what prosecutors say was months of abuse by his mother and her boyfriend in their Harlem apartment. Both have been arrested on charges of endangering the welfare of a child.

MORE: ACS head breaks down at hearing over Harlem boy's death

In the days following his death, five ACS staffers who directly worked on the case were put on desk duty.

Three-year-old Jaden Jordan died after he was brutally beaten at his Brooklyn home. ACS workers received a tip about the abuse but were directed to the wrong house.

Jaden was allegedly assaulted by 24-year-old Salvatore Lucchesse, the boyfriend of his mother, at their home in Gravesend, Brooklyn. Lucchesse allegedly told police the child fell in the bathtub, but investigators say the boy was so badly beaten that he suffered a lacerated liver and lost a large amount of oxygen.