“In a sweeping critique of past spending and accounting practices at the Queens Library, a city audit released on Wednesday detailed more than $310,000 in prohibited expenses by the former president of the system, Thomas W. Galante, and by other executives. More than $100,000 of these expenses, officials contended, could amount to fraud and embezzlement. Among the abuses, library executives used library funds to pay for “extravagant meals,” alcohol, tickets to a Maroon 5 rock concert, admission to Disneyland, airline upgrades, Apple TVs, a smoking balcony off the president’s office and smokeless ashtrays — all while maintaining that the library system was running a deficit, said Scott M. Stringer, the New York City comptroller, whose office conducted the audit and a related inquiry into possible misconduct.” (Via NYT)
EXCLUSIVE: NYC City Controller Scott Stringer urges DA, IRS to probe financial abuse at Queens Library
Financial abuse at Queens Library was so out of control that city Controller Scott Stringer is urging the IRS and local prosecutors to launch criminal probes against both Thomas Galante, the library’s ousted president, and his successor, Bridget Quinn-Carey, the Daily News has learned. Stringer’s 18-month audit of the library has concluded that Galante and Quinn-Carey, the library’s former chief operating officer and now interim president, racked up more than $310,000 in prohibited personal expenses on their library credit cards over a three-year period ending June 30, 2014.” (Via The Daily News)
“The musical void left by the reported closure of the New York’s last classical sheet music store is being filled by the Queens Library. The institution has built the city’s largest collection of music scores that’s available to check out — a compilation that’s gained importance since the Frank Music Company, on West 54th St. between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, closed earlier this month.” (via DNAinfo.com New York)
“Better late than never. A long-delayed Queens library is finally getting off the ground, with construction set to begin in the next few weeks, officials will announce Thursday.
Workers have begun sampling the soil around the future site of the Queens Library’s Hunters Point branch, which will be the system’s first newly built branch in more than 20 years. The project has been delayed — and some of its vaunted green design elements scaled down — as officials struggled to come up with the money to build it and plans were simplified to keep the budget from ballooning.” (via NY Daily News)
“Disgraced former Queens Library president Thomas Galante says he’ll sue the library’s board for firing him over allegations that he abused a library credit card to make personal purchases.The library’s trustees — including board members appointed recently by Mayor de Blasio and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz — unanimously voted Wednesday night to terminate Galante’s employment. He made $392,000 a year.On Thursday Galante’s lawyer, Hillary Prudlo, told the Daily News: “The library breached the employment agreement, and we will see them in court.” (via NY Daily News)