Attorney: Child welfare worker in witch hunt

“It’s quite a leap to go from an allegation of possible malfeasance to a criminal prosecution,” attorney Anthony Grandenette told Judge Patricia DiMango on April 20.

Adams and his supervisor Cereece Bell are facing more than four years in prison for their alleged failure to save little Marchella Brett-Pierce.

Brett-Pierce, who was born with a medical condition that required her to use feeding and breathing tubes, died on Sept. 2, 2010 allegedly after days of torture at the hands of her mother, Carlotta Brett-Pierce, who is currently facing murder charges.

Police say Carlotta Brett-Pierce tied her daughter to a bed inside their apartment and battered her with household items. She also deprived her of food and water.

When Marchella died, she weighed just 18 pounds, prosecutors said, and police found marks on her wrists and ankles, a sign that she had been bound by cords.

Carlotta Brett-Pierce was charged with murder after an autopsy showed Marchella died of “child abuse syndrome.”

But Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes believes the city could have intervened and saved the child if the Administration for Children’s Services hadn’t dropped the ball.

His investigation revealed that Adams, the caseworker monitoring the Brett-Pierce case, hadn’t checked on Marchella’s progress in the three months leading up to her death.

Once the girl died, he allegedly postdated reports to make it appear that they had visited the Brett-Pierce home every two weeks.

But Adams made one costly error: all of the mocked-up progress reports were entered into the computer after Marchella died, prosecutors say.

Adams was charged with falsifying the reports. Bell was accused of failing to make sure her staffer made regular trips to Brett-Pierce’s home.

Yet Grandenette said that the case against Adams should be dismissed because the city employee had no way of knowing that little Marchella was in danger.

In order to be charged with criminally negligent homicide, Adams would have had to know that Carlotta Brett-Pierce was capable of killing her child, Grandenette explained.

But there was no evidence of that, Grandenette said: Marchella’s mother was being monitored by the Administration for Children’s Services because she had tested positive for marijuana when she gave birth to a second child. There had never been any allegations of violence, Grandenette explained.

“A prosecution based upon such a proposition is preposterous,” Grandenette said, adding that his motion to dismiss should be filed before Adams’s next court date on May 11.

Military malfeasance

A 46-year-old Brooklyn contractor is facing 75-years in prison after being convicted of posing as a disabled veteran so he could get more than $16 million in government contracts.

John Raymond Anthony White — who never served in the U.S. military — was found guilty of fraud on April 20 in Manhattan Federal Court.

Federal prosecutors said White pretended to be a disabled veteran so he could win the contracts of several government projects that had been set aside for veterans or veterans with disabilities.

Falling for his ruse, the U.S. government awarded him government contracts to oversee construction on veterans administration buildings in New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland between 2007 and 2010.

When federal investigators began questioning his alleged military background, or his claims that he had been wounded in action, White changed his story, stating that an employee of his — a veteran — was the majority owner of his company.

White then cajoled the employee into claiming that he owned the company.

“White exploited valuable resources intended for the men and women who put their lives on the line for our country and are often disabled as a result,” Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, said in a statement.


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