Attorney General Cuomo Announces Arrest Of Former Nyc Children's Services Worker For Faking Official Records Of Home Visits That Never Occurred
NEW YORK, N.Y. (May 27, 2009) -Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the arrest of a former New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) worker for falsifying public records in order to cover up her failure to perform required home visits.
According to the complaint, Stephanie Sabouni, 27, of Brooklyn, was employed by ACS as a Child Protective Specialist from October 2005 through June 2007. At the time of the allegations, Sabouni was working in the Educational Neglect Unit of ACS, which handles neglect cases relating to chronic school truancy. When assigned a case alleging neglect, Sabouni was required to visit the child or children at home within 48 hours. Sabouni allegedly failed to make the required visits in several of her assigned cases. To cover her tracks 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 Cuomo. “While all public employees have 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.”
Sabouni is charged with seven counts of Tampering with Public Records in the First Degree (class D felony), which carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison for each count; seven counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree (class E felony), which carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison for each count; and one count of Official Misconduct (class A misdemeanor), which carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail.
The New York City Department of Investigation and the New York State Office of the Welfare Inspector General investigated Sabouni’s activities and together with the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, referred the matter to the Attorney General for prosecution.
"I'd like to thank Attorney General Cuomo for investigating and prosecuting this case," said Office of Children and Families Commissioner Gladys Carrion, Esq. "One of the state's most important jobs is protecting children from abuse and neglect. It's unacceptable that any child welfare worker would not fulfill their responsibility to conduct face-to-face interviews with the children they are charged to protect, then falsify documents that they did.”
The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Amy Tully of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Bureau under the supervision of Deputy Chief Stacy Aronowitz and Special Deputy Attorney General for Public Integrity Ellen Biben, with the assistance of Investigator Sylvia Rivera.
The charges against the defendant are merely accusations and she is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.