Disciplinary letters show failures by children services in death of Aniya Day-Garrett

CLEVELAND-- A Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services case worker and a supervisor were both fired after the death of Aniya Day-Garrett, the FOX 8 I-Team learned on Friday. It's possible the one could get her job back.

Four-year-old Aniya was abused and murdered after falling through cracks in the government system intended to protect kids.

Earlier this month, a jury convicted Aniya’s mother and her boyfriend on multiple counts, including aggravated  murder. Last week, Judge Timothy McCormick sentenced Sierra Day to life in prison and Deonte Lewis to 20 years to life in prison.

The discipline against the case worker and supervisor was not revealed before. It comes to light after months of records requests filed by the I-Team with Cuyahoga County government headquarters.

Now, we obtained the disciplinary letters, which provide new details on how Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services failed the little girl.

The records show Lorra Greene was fired from her job as social service worker and Laura Cole from her job as social service supervisor in August.

The records also show Greene handled the last two referrals involving Aniya Day-Garrett, but she, "Did not act with the appropriate sense of urgency."

Aniya, "Suffered ongoing abuse that went unaddressed," and, “Important allegations were not investigated vigorously, or at all...”

According to the disciplinary letter for the supervisor, she, "Did not hold social service workers accountable when important deadlines to see (Aniya) were missed.”  The letter notes a worker did not see Aniya “for over two weeks” following a referral.

This falls in line with claims from Aniya’s father, Mickhal Garrett. He said he and others made repeated complaints of suspected abuse, but the county did not act quickly and never took enough action to get Aniya out of her mother's home.

The supervisor who was fired filed an appeal with the county. A spokesperson said Cuyahoga County said a recommendation was made to overturn her firing and reduce her punishment to a suspension. A final determination has not been made.

Last year, the I -Team revealed the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reviewed how the county handled the case. The agency issued a report outlining how case workers and their system failed to help Aniya. Following that report, the county promised to make a long list of reforms, including more and better training, along with more safeguards in the handling of cases like this one.

The state also moved to revoke the licenses of two day care centers attended by Aniya for not reporting suspected abuse. One day care agreed to close. The action against the other is still pending.

This is a developing story with more to come later today on FOX 8 News.

Continuing coverage of this story here

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