Tag Archives: Queens Library

Queens Library chief Thomas Galante placed on paid leave pending results of city and federal investigations

“The story of embattled Queens library chief Thomas Galante entered a new chapter Thursday night after he was put on indefinite leave by the board.< Galante, who has headed up the Queens public library since 2003, will get full pay while he is out on leave, board members said after a heated session behind closed doors. But he’s banished from the library pending the results of a full financial audit by City Controller Scott Stringer and the outcome of a probe of the library’s construction projects by the FBI and the city’s Department of Investigation." (via NY Daily News)

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Gonzalez: Queens Library chief likely to be suspended in upcoming meeting

“Thomas Galante will soon be checking out as Queens Library chief. The library’s revamped board of trustees is expected to approve a resolution Thursday night to indefinitely suspend Galante, the group’s $392,000-a-year president and CEO, according to several board sources. Gabriel Taussig, chairman of the trustees, declined a request for comment on Galante’s fate, and library spokeswoman Joanne King said she had no information on the meeting’s agenda. But several other board members said a vote on their CEO’s status will be the first item of business.” (via NY Daily News)

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Hint of Scandal Embroils Queens Library’s Leaders

“There it is atop the Queens Public Library’s headquarters: The roof deck at the heart of an inquiry into misused money, where some say the president of the library, Thomas W. Galante, likes to take cigarette breaks. Four wrought-iron chairs and some low tables are jammed onto a 16-by-14-foot space one flight up from Merrick Boulevard. The shrubs surrounding it are dying. Air-conditioning units rumble behind flimsy latticework erected as a buffer. The view is of the blank exteriors of buildings on either side. “It’s not opulent,” Joanne King, a spokeswoman for the library, said during a tour last week.” (via NYTimes.com)

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Mayoral donor spared the ax in Queens library scandal

“Mayor de Blasio and Borough President Melinda Katz spared only one Thomas Galante backer when they axed eight other trustees who had supported the disgraced Queens Public Library honcho — and it turns out that lucky survivor has ties to both pols. De Blasio and Katz didn’t lay a finger on Mary Ann Mattone, 66, who happens to be the wife of developer Joseph Mattone, and whose family has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic races, including those of Katz and Hizzoner. Mattone’s son, Carl, 55, even headlined a Katz fund-raiser in Douglaston, Queens, this summer.” (via New York Post)

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Queens Library carrying out expensive probe of leaks about director Thomas Galante’s salary, spending

“The Queens Library is spending big bucks to investigate leaks of confidential information about board meetings to the Daily News. Lawyers for six former trustees suing to get their positions back after they were kicked out by Mayor de Blasio and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz revealed in court papers the library has retained a high-powered former federal judge to probe leaks that led to a series of stories in The News about library director Thomas Galante’s $392,000 salary and his free-spending ways. Brooklyn Federal Judge Roslynn Mauskopf recused herself Monday from presiding over the suit because she is a close personal friend of the former federal judge, Barbara Jones, who served on the bench in the Southern District of New York for 16 years before leaving to become a partner at a white shoe law firm.” (via NY Daily News)

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Queens Borough President Melinda Katz urges court to allow her to remove library trustees

“Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is urging a Brooklyn federal court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by six trustees of the scandal-plagued Queens Library. The trustees, seeking to block her ouster of them, claim a new state law that grants both Katz and the mayor the power to remove any trustee before the end of their normal five-year term is unconstitutional. But Katz, in legal papers filed Monday by City Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter, noted she acted after a series of Daily News articles revealed extraordinary spending including the $392,000 annual salary of the library’s chief executive Thomas Galante.” (via NY Daily News)

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8 Are Removed as Queens Library Trustees

“Eight members of the Queens Library board of trustees were dismissed on Wednesday by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the borough president, Melinda Katz, according to the mayor’s office. The board members were removed after they voted in April against firing Thomas W. Galante, director of the Queens library system, who has been under investigation for using money earmarked for library improvements for renovations to his personal office and for steering contracts for the work to a friend. Mr. Galante is paid about $400,000 a year. His expenditures have become the subject of inquiries by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the United States attorney general; the New York City Department of Investigation; and Scott M. Stringer, the city comptroller.” (via NYTimes.com)

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Queens Library reforms stall after passing State Assembly

“The state Assembly passed a Queens Library reform bill Monday, but it is unlikely to even come up for a vote in the state Senate.

The bill, authored by Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry (D-East Elmhurst) and Borough President Melinda Katz, passed the lower chamber unanimously by a vote of 132-0. The legislation would reform the library’s board of trustees in an attempt to make the nonprofit more transparent. “I am very pleased that the Queens Library reform measure sponsored by Assembly member Aubry was approved by the Assembly without opposition,” Katz said in a statement. “It is a sensible measure that would dramatically improve the governance and oversight of the Queens Library and help guarantee that it remains one of our borough’s most treasured institutions for many years to come.” (via Queens Campaigner)

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Gonzalez: Queens Library President Thomas Galante is trying to muzzle his board

“The embattled head of the Queens Library is trying again to clamp down on information — this time from its own board of trustees. Queens Borough President Melinda Katz labeled the new ploy by Thomas Galante a “disgrace.” “I am writing to express my outrage at the policy put forth by Galante that would limit trustee access to information,” Katz wrote Thursday in a letter to the board.” (via NY Daily News)

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Queens Library Board votes to keep denying NYC comptroller’s demands

“Continuing to defy the city comptroller and insisting on adhering to an agreement reached with one of his predecessors in 1997, the Queens Library again decided last night to withhold documents that are being sought for an audit. The library administration has refused the requests of Comptroller Scott Stringer to provide all financial records for the audit, which was prompted earlier this year by revelations about library spending and operations, brought to light primarily by the Daily News.” (via Queens Chronicle)

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