Magazine article Library Administrator's Digest

Queens Library Director Thomas Galante Could Be Fired Next Week

Magazine article Library Administrator's Digest

Queens Library Director Thomas Galante Could Be Fired Next Week

Article excerpt

Queens Library Director Thomas Galante could be fired next week, following a review by the library's new trustees into his wild spending of tax-payer money on lavish meals, expensive concert tickets and highpriced furniture.

Records obtained by the Daily News show Galante spent more than $40,000 on food, alcohol and entertainment at restaurants across the country, casinos, bowling alleys, billiard halls and liquor stores during 2013 - all of it charged to his library corporate credit card.

The trustees, many of them newly installed by Mayor de Blasio and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, placed Galante on leave in September, but are still paying his $392,000 annual salary pending results of the review. At a meeting next Wednesday, they will receive the final report, which is expected to recommend his dismissal, sources say.

Galante charged an additional $23,000 on the library card to retail stores in Long Island and Connecticut last year, according to monthly credit card statements obtained by The News under a Freedom of Information Law request. That went to furnish his executive suite and an adjacent rooftop smoking deck he ordered built during the renovations of the Queens Central Library, two library sources said.

The records, dating from December 2011, also reveal numerous all-expense-paid trips Galante took on supposed library business to cities like Barcelona, Amsterdam, Athens, Helsinki, Aspen, Colorado and Newport Beach, California. The Barcelona conference was from August 20 to August 25, 2012, yet Galante spent 11 days on the trip, the statements show.

No expense seemed too big or too small for the Queens Library chief to charge to taxpayers. He claimed as business expenses his coffee at Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks, twice-monthly car washings at Splash in Connecticut, NYPD tow pound fees, auto repair bills as high as $4,000, hundreds of dollars at a time for cookies from gourmet wholesaler Silver Lake Cookie Company and gasoline fill-ups several times a week - supposedly for the $37,000 Nissan sports car the library supplied for him. …

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