Tag Archives: Queens Library

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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Queens Library’s questionable construction bills spurs federal and city investigations

“Embattled Queens Library chief Thomas Galante insists library renovations directly supervised by his organization get done faster and cheaper than those done by the city’s Department of Design and Construction. “The average to modernize the library’s four most recent projects . . . is $235 per square foot,” Galante said in an April 17 letter to Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. He contrasted that to “a $426 per-square-foot cost” for a recent DDC library construction project in Queens. Well, not exactly, a de Blasio administration official testified to City Council last week. (via NY Daily News)

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City puts hold on Queens library system’s cash flow

“The city is tightening the cash spigot on the embattled Queens library system. Officials from the city Department of Design and Construction told the City Council Monday that they’ve frozen payments that allowed the library to use a portion of its capital budget on its own projects with minimal city oversight. “They’re all on hold,” DDC deputy commissioner David Resnick said. The freeze covers some $20.27 million in projects — including the Queens Central Library renovations exposed by the Daily News that have gotten library president Thomas Galante in hot water.” (via NY Daily News)

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Queens Library Board votes not to suspend big-spending director Thomas Galante

“The luxury-loving director of the Queens Library survived a vote to suspend him Thursday. Following a five-hour meeting, much of it behind closed doors, the library’s board voted 9-9 not to force director Thomas Galante to take a leave of absence. The tie meant the motion to suspend did not carry. One board member, Terri Mangino, arrived from Florida at the last minute to cast her vote, said a source with knowledge of the proceedings. “They waited for her to fly in because they knew she would vote to keep Tom,” the source said. “They knew she would tie it up.” (via NY Daily News)

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Thomas Galante should take leave of absence says Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

“Embattled Queens Library boss Thomas Galante should take a leave and stay out of circulation while the latest chapter of his spending and payment scandal plays out, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said Monday. Katz sent sharply worded letters to both Galante and the library’s board of trustees, calling for the board to formally suspend him at their meeting set for Thursday. She said faith in library leadership has been dangerously undermined by recent revelations involving Galante, and the “thousands of children, adults and seniors” who rely on the $120 million-a-year Queens Library system are at risk.” (via NY Daily News)

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GQueens library head Thomas Galante could be ending chapter soon, city officials say

“Top city officials — troubled by Daily News revelations about the Queens library director — say the book could soon be closed on his tenure. The News reported on Friday that Thomas Galante moonlighted as a business consultant for a Long Island school district, clocking as many as 53 hours a week. Galante raked in more than $100,000 over a recent seven-month period, according to invoices Galante filed with the Elmont School District. At the same time, he was earning $392,000 a year to run the Queens library system. City Council Majority Leader James Van Bramer said it’s time to turn the page on Galante, his former boss.” *via NY Daily News)

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Thomas Galante, Queens Library director, denies claim of funding public relations firm

“Thomas Galante, the embattled Queens Library director who is facing a criminal probe, denied claims Tuesday that the library’s board of trustees voted to spend taxpayer dollars on public relations to boost its public image. The board voted Thursday to spend $30,000 on an outside public relations firm, according to sources with knowledge of the discussions. That’s in addition to the library’s in-house public information staff. When City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Queens) grilled him during a library budget hearing, Galante said the $30,000 would be spent to “promote services.” (via NY Daily News)

See also, Queens Councilwoman Confronts Library Leader

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