Tag Archives: Queens Library

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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Officials Investigating Spending by Director of Queens Library

“The director of the Queens Library system is under investigation after reports that he may have improperly used money designated for improving the libraries in the system for costly renovations to his personal office, including a private outdoor deck, and steered contracts for the work to a
friend. The inquiry, by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, federal prosecutors and New York City’s Department of Investigation, will examine spending over the last three years by Thomas W. Galante, the library’s president and chief executive, who has directed the library for more than a decade. The renovation to his office at the branch in Jamaica, Queens, cost a reported $140,000.” (via NYTimes.com)

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Queens president: Trustees must nix money-flush library head’s $2M exit deal

“Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is demanding that trustees of the Queens Library rein in their out-of-control chief executive, Thomas Galante, and eliminate a secret $2 million golden parachute in his employment contract. “Faith must be restored in our library system,” Katz wrote Tuesday in a stinging letter to the 19 trustees, urging them to “act swiftly … to restore the trust that has been lost” after embarrassing revelations about library spending. The Daily News reported earlier this month that Galante received a whopping $392,000 salary in 2013, plus a sports car, to run the borough’s taxpayer-funded library system. And The News was first to report that he spent nearly $140,000 on renovations to his executive offices — including a $26,000 private smoking deck.” (via NY Daily News)

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Queens Library Crowdsources for Borough History Project

“The Queens Library is doing its part to keep the borough from flushing its history away. In partnership with Historypin, an online archive, the library has developed “Queens: Neighborhood Stories,” an interactive crowdsourcing initiative that uses photos, videos and other media to illuminate the everyday lives of people who have lived in the most culturally diverse county in the United States. Residents can log onto Historypin and upload their historic material, which is then pinned to an online map where users can browse it by date and location. The images can even be overlaid with modern Google street view images, to get a true picture of the past.” (via The New York Observer)

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Thomas Galante, Queens Library CEO, calls $392,000 pay ‘average’

“The head of the Queens Library defended his six-figure salary Monday — insisting his lucrative pay and perks were “average” compensation in the nonprofit world.Thomas Galante said there was nothing improper about his $391,594 salary, or the $140,000 he spent last year to renovate his offices.But his ample pay package, first reported in the Daily News, shocked and surprised library employees, who have been without a raise since 2008.” (via NY Daily News)

See also, Queens Library president’s spendthrift ways eyed by New York City controller

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