updated 10/25/2006 5:32:23 PM ET 2006-10-25T21:32:23

The case of a 14-year-old girl who wasted away under the nose of the city’s social service agency, weighing just 46 pounds when she died, has helped lead to the ouster of two of the agency’s top officials.

Danieal Kelly, bedridden, infested with maggots and nearly paralyzed with cerebral palsy, died dehydrated during a heat wave on Aug. 4, nine days after the last scheduled visit by a company hired to help care for her, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Wednesday.

The case was a key factor in Mayor John F. Street’s decision last week to force the resignation of Human Services Commissioner Cheryl Ransom-Garner and the termination of her deputy, John McGee, city officials told the newspaper.

“The system clearly failed with this kid,” acting Human Services Commissioner Arthur C. Evans Jr. said.

The city has been reviewing cases since a report by the Inquirer on children’s deaths under the agency’s watch.

A city caseworker had visited Danieal’s home at least three times in nine months without spotting any neglect, according to the city’s review. Police are investigating.

The city has terminated its contract with Multiethnic Behavioral Health, the company paid to assist the girl’s family.

Mother blamed
A city review of the teen’s death found that caregivers did very little for Danieal and her family. It also found that the girl’s death was the result of neglect by her mother, Andrea Kelly.

A lawyer for the mother, Vincent J. Giusini, said she didn’t do anything wrong.

Both McGee and Ransom-Garner defended their actions.

Ransom-Garner said she ordered an investigation into Multiethnic’s performance; McGee said he moved to reassign all the company’s clients to other social-service agencies but had to wait until an investigation was finished.

Multiethnic Behavioral Health also denied responsibility for the death.

“When the full story comes out concerning this family, it will be demonstrated that Multiethnic and its employees were not responsible for the death of Danieal Kelly,” said Luther E. Weaver III, a company attorney.

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