BY Oren Yaniv
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Wednesday, February 25th 2009, 1:04 AM
The city's Administration for Children's Services closed a probe regarding a Staten Island boy one day before his 7-week-old brother, Matthew Mason, starved to death, sources said Tuesday.
Joanna Fezza, 43, and Peter Mason, 47, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter Monday, admitting they unintentionally starved their baby.
They are expected to be released from jail next week for time served.
The ACS flatly declined to comment yesterday on the family history of little Matthew, who weighed only 2 pounds when a relative found him dead last March.
The agency had monitored the parents since Matthew's 5-year-old brother was 8 months old, and caseworkers had visited the home after Matthew was born, a law enforcement source said.
The older brother's case was closed without further action being taken. Matthew, who was never the subject of any investigation, died the next day from bronchopneumonia due to malnutrition.
Their parents had completed training programs suggested by ACS, the source said. Both were described as having "a very low IQ."
The older child is now in foster care, and the couple was banned from contacting him for at least eight years, court papers show.
Another source said the older boy had also suffered from malnutrition and asthma, adding that the mother was bulimic and fed him a candy-only diet.
Assistant District Attorney Karen Varriale told a judge that Matthew's death wasn't caused by an "intentional act," but "the parents failed to feed the child properly."
Fezza and Mason, who already served eight months in jail, are expected to be released March 6 after the one-year sentence agreed upon in their plea deal is accepted.
News that the couple will soon be back on the streets outraged neighbors.
"I can't believe they're letting them out," said a man who lives near their decrepit Oder Ave. home, where highchairs and small mattresses were strewn outside Tuesday amid garbage bags.
"That's disgusting," he said.
A man who works in a nearby deli and gave his name as Charlie said he used to see the couple walking around the neighborhood at all hours idly pushing a shopping cart.
"It doesn't make sense," he said of their impending release. "They should get psychiatric help or something."
With Kathleen Lucadamo
Staten Island baby starved to death unnoticed by ACS
My Two Cents-
While children are dying like this poor baby - in Richmond County .. child "protective" services is off "legally kidnapping" innocent children like mine.. who were never abused and there was AMPLE DOCUMENTED PROOF that they weren't abused!!!
When my day in court comes for the Malicious Prosecution and Negligent Misrepresentation lawsuit I've filed against them.. I'll keep these innocent and now dead children in the front of my mind!
Child protective services needs to be eradicated! Let the neighbors take care of child abusers!