BROOKLYN - After two workers with the Administration for Children's Services (ACS) were criminally charged in the death of a 4-year-old Brooklyn girl, hundreds of ACS union members rallied today to show support for their colleagues.

Police say Marchella Pierce's body was emaciated and showed signs of beatings before she died last fall. Her mother was charged in connection with the death, but now, the caseworker and the worker's supervisor are also facing criminal charges.

At the rally today, ACS workers said they were outraged that the two are being held accountable for the mother's abuse. They say many ACS workers are overworked and burdened with more cases than they can handle.

In response, Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the workers being charged didn't have heavy loads. He says each were only responsible for about nine child cases.

Last fall, the ACS commissioner said that no record could be found of home visits by the caseworker in the months before Pierce's death.

The girl's grandmother was also charged in her death. Prosecutors say she stood by and did nothing while her granddaughter was beaten.

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