City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced Tuesday the results of an audit found former Queens Library CEO Thomas Galante and other library executives, including Interim President Bridget Quinn-Carey, spent more than $300,000 on prohibited items, such as alcohol, dinners, entertainment and other personal expenses.
Standing across the street from the Astoria Library at 14-01 Astoria Blvd., Stringer released the first full financial audit and investigation of the Queens Library’s spending practices between fiscal years 2008 and 2014 in more than two decades and the first report from his newly formed research and investigative unit.
After an analysis of fiscal year 2012-2014 credit card purchases by Galante and Quinn-Carey, the investigation found that Galante and Quinn-Carey used their Queens Borough Public Library credit cards for more than $310,000 in prohibited expenses, including about $115,000 in purchases that appeared to be taxable, undeclared income.
Of this amount, nearly $260,000 was incurred by Galante. Quinn-Carey made a number of prohibited purchases totaling $48,000, the audit said.
“These two documents tell a cautionary tale of what happens when no one is providing oversight and accountability,” Stringer said. “For years, the former CEO of the Queens Borough Public Library Thomas Galante and his executive team used the library as their personal piggy bank. Today, that era is coming to a definitive close.”
The investigation also found that Galante’s records of time spent performing part-time consulting services for the Elmont Union Free School District, another public employer, conflicted with his Queens Library work schedule.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, who helped reform the library system’s board of trustees in 2014, commended Stringer’s investigation. She did not comment specifically on the findings on Quinn-Carey’s financial conduct.
“The comptroller’s audit and investigative reports confirm some deeply disturbing suspicions of the library’s prior management, and I am pleased the findings will be referred to the appropriate authorities for further action,” Katz said in a statement.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour
©2015 Community News Group
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