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Comptroller Stringer Launches New Investigation After Harlem Boy's Death

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer is launching an investigation into the city's Administration for Children's Services following the death of a 6-year-old Harlem boy.

Little Zymere Perkins died Monday. Prosecutors said this week that a preliminary autopsy showed the boy had several broken ribs, old injuries and was severely malnourished.

"This week, our city tragically lost another child – months after ACS pledged to enact critical reforms," Stringer said in a statement. "This death highlights the precarious situation at this agency, and underscores the need for immediate improvements."

Stringer said he wants to know whether the agency is following the recommendations his office made following a scathing audit earlier this year. The June 16 audit found that the ACS was putting thousands of children at risk because of, "shoddy investigations and poor oversight."

Stringer said Perkins' mother had been the focus of at least five city investigation of potential child abuse, 1010 WINS reported.

"The bottom line of this investigation is simple – ACS made promises, and New Yorkers deserve to know if they've made progress," Stringer said. "With children's lives on the line, we cannot wait another day for this agency to make fundamental reforms."

The little boy's mother, 26-year-old Geraldine Perkins, and her 42-year-old boyfriend, Rysheim Smith, were arraigned Wednesday night on charges in connection with his death.

Court documents say early Monday, Smith allegedly beat the little boy with a broom stick until he was limp.  Police sources say he also held the boy's head under water in the shower.

Perkins told police she was there during the assault, but prosecutors say she never called 911 and hospital staff believe the boy had been dead for several hours before Perkins brought him in.

ACS said it is investigating the Perkins case with the NYPD and has 60 days to complete the investigation.

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