Saturday, May 10, 2014

Queens Library board blocks audit

From the Queens Chronicle:

Continuing to defy the city comptroller and insisting on adhering to an agreement reached with one of his predecessors in 1997, the Queens Library again decided last night to withhold documents that are being sought for an audit.

The library administration has refused the requests of Comptroller Scott Stringer to provide all financial records for the audit, which was prompted earlier this year by revelations about library spending and operations, brought to light primarily by the Daily News.

On Thursday night the Library Board of Trustees voted to continue defying Stringer, passing a resolution that said it would only provide those documents it agreed to make public in a 1997 accord with then-Comptroller Alan Hevesi. Another resolution, which would have forced the administration to provide all the documents Stringer wants, was voted down.

The resolution that passed was sponsored by Trustee Mary Ann Mattone, and the one that failed was sponsored by Trustee Judy Bergtraum.

The comptroller has taken the library to court to negate the agreement with Hevesi and force it to provide all documents.

Library spokeswoman Joanne King confirmed the votes but could not say what the tally on either was, saying the institution does not release those. The library, though it provides a municipal service, is a private, state-authorized entity under contract with the city.


Anonymous said...

Trustee Mary Ann Mattone, as in Mattone Developers?
This board needs to be kicked out of town!

Anonymous said...

See Mrs Mattone with her 1968 hairsyle?

This is why we plunk tens of millions for the Queens Museum and Queens Theater... so they can appear on the Queens social pages in the local pennysavers.

If you saw them at Lincoln Center they would hardly rate a glance like anyone else from Howard Beach or Staten Island.

Anonymous said...

What reason could they possibly have for blocking the audit? conflict of interest?

J said...

So they are citing convicted jailbird pol Alan Hevesi as precedent for refusing an audit by an elected official.What are they,W bush and cheney?A drug cartel?

Malicious Impunity.

Missing Foundation said...

This culture of self-interest, cynicism and corruption has left the borough of Queens on the verge of moral bankruptcy.

Services are collapsing, reckless unchecked development is destroying communities, and money is being spent foolishly to satisfy the whims of careless silly people that are totally in over their heads.

Only the desperate immigrant and the transient emigrant moves into Queens to face this abuse.

As soon as they can, they leave the borough as fast as possible.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

You need to take a look on how the capital money is being spent - that children's center cost $50 million with hardly a public ripple.

That is the kind of spending on monuments you see in 3rd world countries.

Anonymous said...

The cultural and social elite in Queens are still very publicly and vocally behind the Queens Library. After all, their boards are dominated by people drawn from the same social strata as the library.

After this broke, while the electeds were either ignoring or paying lip service to the community's Steinway Mansion effort, behind the Friends backs (one of their staffers bragged over drinks) they begged the library to take it over.

Imagine soiling he 'Steinway' name with an FBI investigation?

Only in Queens.

Anonymous said...

These people are disgusting.

Anonymous said...

It seems obvious that they might have something to hide. Remnants of the old Manes "friendship" are still around. It looks like in the Queens clubhouse, the Donald's ghost still gives the orders and assigns patronage jobs to the well connected developers, etc. !

Anonymous said...

There IS NO "cultural" or "social elite" in Queens...just a bunch of hicks, farmers, petty thieves and crooked small town pols!


An FBI sweep is long past due to rid this borough of organized political crime.

Uh...John Liu needs continual watching.

Latte Drinking HuffPost Reader said...

What are they,W bush and cheney?

Yeah, because if we had some Democratic politicians in NYC, this business with the library would have NEVER happened!

The Library Phantom said...

Peter Benjaminson's 1997 book Secret Police, about the NYC Department of Investigation, gives details about the DOI's
attempts to open the library's financial records when they learned that all overdue fees and fines went into a "slush fund" between 1987 and 1992 - the slush fund was used for lavish spending on perks for members of the Queens Library's Board of Trustees. Who was hired to be the library's Director of Finance in 1987, you might ask? Tom Galante, of course. He's been playing games with the library's finances for over 25 years. What has taken so long?

Anonymous said...

Only in Queens can something as simple as a library be turned into a political device.

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely disgusting how corrupt the queens library board is. Check and see how many friends of Vallone are on it. And how many with ties to cb1. It makes me sick. The feds really need to step up and do something. Funny how george the aetheist hasn't said anything yet. Nothing but major contributors to the pols on the board.

ron s said...

How about a plan where the city no longer funds the library when whatever contract they have ends?
Let them go under and then the city can reopen the system.

Anonymous said...

Our library branch in Kew Gardens Hills was ripped apart a year ago and a dinky temporary library was opened across the street. Since then, no one around here has seen ANY work done on the library. It's been sitting there with its front torn out for a year or more. Who can we contact about this?

Anonymous said...

Investigate and go after these crooks in Queens politics now!

Anonymous said...

I cannot wait for this to get to Jimmy Van Bramer who cut his teeth on working many years for the library.

Love to have a list of cb1 and Vallone appointees.

Anonymous said...

Well folks, you got to be public about this which means that ALL OVER QUEENS you have to attend the Town Hall meetings and use words like 'disgrace' and 'what lessons does this teach our children' to get notice.

Letters help. Social media on the same level as the dirty water taco truck crowd who seem to have patented energy directed at the frivolous while this stuff gets ignored.

Bitching here and being quietly sullen about it will accomplish nothing. This is the biggest reason that things never change for your miserable lives dear Queens residents, and, indeed, get slowly worse with each passing year.

By comparison, the other boroughs would have the heads of those responsible for this on figurative poles.

Anonymous said...

Does the city have a legal basis to take over the Queens Library system?

georgetheatheist said...

In this day and age, do we really need a library?

The Library Phantom said...

Our library branch in Kew Gardens Hills was ripped apart a year ago and a dinky temporary library was opened across the street. Since then, no one around here has seen ANY work done on the library. It's been sitting there with its front torn out for a year or more. Who can we contact about this?

According to Juan Gonzalez in the Daily News, both of whom have been all over Galante and the Library for several months, the City is holding up $20million in payments to the Library, so that is likely affecting their ability to finish or continue some capital projects. Up until now, the Library could (over)pay for capital projects and then put in for reimbursement from the City. We've been living in Bizarro World.

Anonymous said...

In this day and age, do we really need libraries? Do we really need books? Do we really need to think? Or do we just need to repreat hackneyed cliches over and over?