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Social worker suspended in case of dead child

The state Department of Children and Families has suspended a social worker for one day without pay for her role in the placement of a 3-year-old boy in an unlicensed foster home in Florida where he was allegedly killed.

DCF officials said Thursday that they had suspended Clordean Davis Mendes. An internal investigation found that DCF workers wrongly rushed to find a permanent home for the boy and ignored warning signs about the man accused of killing him.

Davis Mendes was the case worker for Alex Boucher, who had been a ward of the state since he was an infant.

The DCF investigation concluded that Alex should not have been placed in the home of James and Jennifer Curtis in New Port Richey.

James Curtis, who was Alex's prospective father, is charged with first-degree murder. Florida authorities say he became angry at Alex for soiling himself and wrapped the boy so tightly in a blanket that he choked on his own vomit.

The boy, who had cerebral palsy and other medical problems, died on Sept. 27, two days after the incident.

DCF Commissioner Kristine Ragaglia last month announced punishments for two supervisors in the Hartford office and for a third employee in DCF's interstate compact office. At the time, Ragaglia had not made a decision about how to discipline Davis Mendes.

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