Questionable spending at Queens library prompts state audit

Queens Central Library
The president of Queens Library is under investigation after an office renovation. Credit: Google Maps

After news reports about the lavish spending of Queens Library President Thomas Galante, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer on Tuesday gave the library notice that he will audit its finances.

The New York Daily News reported earlier this week that Galante spent $140,000 last year to renovate his offices on the second floor of the Queens Central Library in Jamaica, which includes a private rooftop deck. Galante did this while eliminating 130 jobs over the past five years, the News reported.

Galante also earned a salary of $391,594 last year, up $12,000 from the previous year.

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer on Tuesday called for an oversight hearing on the Queens Library.

“Stories of private outdoor patios and questionable spending deserve great scrutiny, and they will get it,” Van Bramer said in a statement.

In a statement on its website, the Queens Library said the 50-year-old Merrick Boulevard building has been undergoing a $20 million modernization. The president’s office area was reduced in size to provide for the use of administrative office meeting and conference areas, according to the statement.

“A portion of the adjacent roof was converted into exterior meeting space as a way to add more conference area to the building at a very low cost. No public funds were used for this work. Every area of the building – public and office space — is being renovated,” the statement reads.


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