“What happened to A.J. Freund is a tremendous tragedy,” Governor JB Pritzker said this morning. “It’s an unfathomable tragedy, honestly.”
The caseworker, Carlos Acosta and his supervisor, Andrew Polovin were both fired last fall for their handling of A.J. Freund's file along with Kathleen Gold, another Department of Children and Family Services caseworker. Now they have both been arrested and charged with two felony counts of endangering the life of a child and one count of reckless conduct.
DCFS handling of A.J.'s file resulted in A.J.'s estate filing a federal lawsuit last year against Acosta and Polovin and accusing that they either failed to investigate the claims of abuse entirely, or improperly dismissed the allegations.
In 2018 allegations of neglect were deemed "unfounded" after a doctor failed to be able to explain a bruise on the boy's hip.
A.J. at that time was alleged to have stated in the presence of the doctor that "maybe someone hit me with a belt. Maybe mommy didn't mean to hurt me."
Other records within his DCFS file indicate that he had told a doctor of possible abuse for month before his death last April.
Acosta and Polovin were both arrested yesterday without incident. They have both been released on $20,000 bond and are scheduled to appear in court later this month; Acosta on September 17, and Polovin on September 24.
A.J.'s mother, JoAnn Cunningham was sentenced to 35 years for the death of her son on July 18. His father, Andrew Freund Sr., is scheduled for a December trial but there is anticipation of a plea deal being reached this month in order to avoid trial.