County worker faces charges

Ex-caseworker falsified records, also endangered child, indictment alleges


SCHENECTADY -- A fired Schenectady County caseworker faces charges she allegedly falsified paperwork and lied to police looking into allegations of the neglect of a malnourished infant boy in the city of Schenectady, authorities said.
Milagros Noriega, 47, is charged in an indictment with official misconduct, making a punishable false written statement, offering a false instrument for filing, and endangering the welfare of child.
The details of what records she allegedly falsified and how they fit in with the case she handled were not available from the indictment's language or authorities.
Noriega formerly worked for Child Protective Services, County Attorney Christopher Gardner said. The agency is responsible for investigating allegations of abuse or maltreatment of children caused by the actions of a parent or caretaker, according to information on the county's website.
The indictment was unsealed Friday by County Judge Karen Drago.
On the last offense, the indictment alleges that between April 8 and June 18, 2010, the defendant "knowingly acted in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical mental or moral welfare of a child" under the age of 17 at a house on Stanley Street.
Authorities say the child was so badly malnourished that his body weight was the same at two months old as it was when he was a newborn and that his skin was flaccid.
On Friday, Noriega sobbed throughout the arraignment as she pleaded not guilty to the charge with Public Defender Kent Gebert by her side. She told the judge she is married with a four-year-old child and works at St. Peter's Addiction Recovery System.
The judge granted a request by Gebert that Noriega, who has no criminal history, be released into the supervision of the probation department.
Neither Gardner or Dennis Packard, commissioner of the county Department of Social Services, returned calls seeking comment.