Tag Archives: Queens Library

Ex-Queens Library trustees lose case against BP Melinda Katz

“A federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit brought against Borough President Melinda Katz by six former Queens Library trustees who had sought to have their dismissals overturned by the court, Katz announced Sunday. The six were members of a faction that had shielded now-suspended library President and CEO Tom Galante from attempts by a minority of the board to put him on leave while investigations into alleged financial mismanagement played out, and that had refused to provide City Comptroller Scott Stringer with all the documents he sought for an audit of the system.” (via Queens Chronicle)

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Queens Library set to hire 50 new employees and replace private cleaning crew with staff

“The embattled Queens Library is hiring 50 more staffers and ending its use of private cleaning crews, its temporary new leader announced last week. “Queens Library staff are the best in the world,” said Bridget Quinn-Carey, the library’s interim president and CEO. “Their ranks have been thin these last few years, and that has been hard on everyone,” she said. Mayor de Blasio and the City Council boosted library funding by $2.8 million, allowing the institution to lift a hiring freeze it instated in 2008, Carey said. At least 19 new full-time librarians and clerks have already been brought on board.” (via NY Daily News)

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After Queens scandal, bills introduced to open up books at city libraries

“After Queens library boss Tom Galante was revealed to be blowing library cash on perks for himself and his cronies, legislation will be introduced in the City Council Wednesday to force city libraries to open their books. The bills, sponsored by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Queens), would require public annual reports detailing all library capital spending, including details of construction projects and which contractors got the cash. Library honchos would also have to financial disclosure statements with the Conflicts of Interest Board, disclosing their outside income and other details like pols and city officials have to do.” (via NY Daily News)

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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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