Friday, July 10, 2015

Library audit very revealing

From The Forum:

With the audit and investigative report he released on Wednesday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer has painted a vivid picture of a disingenuous and reckless Queens Library under ousted President and CEO Thomas Galante.

Galante and other Library executives spent more than $300,000 on prohibited items such as extravagant meals, alcohol, Apple TVs, smokeless ashtrays, airline upgrades, and tickets to a Maroon 5 concert and Disneyland, all while claiming that the Library was running a deficit, according to the audit and report.

The results of the investigation have been referred to the Internal Revenue Service and law enforcement authorities.

During Galante’s tenure, the Library charged nearly all of its operating expenses to its internal “City Fund” account, which was subject to oversight by the comptroller’s office. As a result, Stringer said, from Fiscal Year 2008 to FY 2013 the Library appeared to run deficits that ranged from $5.7 million to $6.9 million, enabling Galante to go before the City Council and plead for more funds.

In reality, the Library had anywhere from $17 to $27 million in unrestricted funds in its fines and fees, state and board designated funds over the same period. Stringer said that Library executives could have drawn upon these so-called hidden funds. Instead, they used the money in part to pay for a wide range of inappropriate expenses.

At the same time they were improperly spending public funds, the Library was eliminating services to the reading public, cutting branch operating hours by an average of four hours per week. During that same time period, Library executives’ salaries increased, with compensation growing by nearly 7 percent—even as they cut services staff and their salaries by 2.8 percent.

Additionally, the audit and investigative report found that from July 2007 to December 2013, Galante made $670,000 in credit card charges that were never approved by the Library’s Board or Chief Financial Officer. And from FY 2012-2014, Galante and then-Chief Operating Officer Bridget Quinn-Carey incurred more than $310,000 in expenses that violated the Library’s Credit Card, Travel, and/or Purchasing Policy (roughly $260,000 of which were incurred by Galante.)

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fling Gallante in jail. And make him pay back every penny he stole.

Anonymous said...

Galante is a SHPOS

Anonymous said...

Not only that, they should send "shock troops" of decent and HONEST construction workers to finish up the renovations which have lain fallow for the past 2 years. Our Kew Gardens Hills branch has been "under renovation" for over 2 years now. All I've seen until very recently was the front torn off the building and a few pieces of construction equipment endlessly parked there. Never even saw a construction worker there until last week. Because of this outrageous delay, people in the community have been obliged to use a postage-stamp-sized storefront across the street as a library for over 2 years now. This is completely unacceptable. And they have like 3 books for people to take out.

When I contacted Rory Lancman, as a newly elected member of the city council, I was called back by a staffer. But nothing ever came of that effort. So I've got Lancman's number, sure enough.

Anonymous said...

It also reflects poorly on the current Interim CEO, Quinn-Carey, who was the #2 under Galante. From what I've heard, she's made numerous positive changes and (unlike Galante) is actually humane - but she might be tarnished by not having been able to stop Galante's plundering (or becoming a whistleblower).

Anonymous said...

And bring our libraries into the 21st Century!

Anonymous said...

What else is crooked in Queens?
You can find the book on crooked everything at the Queensboro Library.

Anonymous said...

It's a culture of corruption. How did Galante get to that position in the first place? Why no whistleblowers while this was going on for years?

Anonymous said...

It's a culture of corruption. How did Galante get to that position in the first place?

Galante was hired in the late 1980s as the Finance Director (i.e., the money man), and he was pretty young. Obviously the (former) Trustees liked the way he handled the money, and even though he did not have a graduate degree in Library Science, they appointed him as Interim Director when Director Gary Strong left to go back to California, with the proviso that if Galante obtained an MLS degree he would get the permanent job - which he did. And I think the previous Directors (Cooke, Strong) lived in a building in Beechurst, while Galante chose to stay in Connecticut - I wonder if he also received a monthly housing allowance for staying in his own place (and racking up large gasoline bills).

Richard Iritano said...

Yet another example of rewarding monstrous failure, corruption, cover-ups and graft--and the hardworking, forever-oppressed public be damned!

It's official: Queens is now the capital of all egregious political corruption and privilege in New York State. But, who is monitoring the auditor himself, Scott Stringer, I shouldn't wonder? This vapid, unqualified bureaucrat continues to drive around town like a Babylonian king, in a chauffered, taxpayer funded car, when he should be underground riding in filth with the rest of City Hall sewer rats and overpaid scavengers! And, if they ever poked their fat, arrogant heads in one of those blighted, vacant stations, then maybe there would be actual change and improvement that all riders would be able to see and enjoy, before the end of their natural life spans!

When I called the maze of bureaucracy that exists from Stringer's downtown patronage mill last October, 2014, I was hung up on (twice), by some political hack named Ingrid Sotelo, and then by another hostile, arrogant, unresponsive fool named Nancy in the Auditing Department.

Just what NYC needs---more arrogance, secrecy, unresponsiveness and taxation without representation. These bureaucrats and their shoddy, protected staff of 'Friends & Family,' behave like they are exalted--and it's destroying confidence and city commerce with the same force of unaccountable destruction. Just imagine, then what the New York State Inspector General would find if its investigative team ever probed Stringer himself--- a 300% phony hack himself!

But, those types of privileged investigations usually malinger for decades, before any pretense of justice ever surfaces from the murky waters of corruption and graft that is entrenched throughout New York State---and getting swampier by the hour! The savagery (and seized control by empowered idiots) never ends!

Anonymous said...

Richard is absolutely correct. As long as the sheep (tax payers) continue to allow politicians and judges ride around in chauffeured, air conditioned comfort, with armed security guards nothing will change. They don't xperience driving in the traffic caused by over development and intentionally unsequential traffic lights and they don,t have to ride the subways with criminals on bail (now paid for by the taxpayers) and urine soaked bums.

ron s said...

One of the many troubling aspects of this case is how the person assigned to clean up after Galante was suspended, is being investigated herself. Beyond the general gall of imitating Galante's actions, wouldn't she be smart enough to know that she would be watched?
Is it arrogance or gross stupidity?

Anonymous said...

How did Galante become Library president?

Richard Iritano said...

Ron S., it's more a question of depraved apathy, unearned/undeserved entitlement and indifference, that underscores a dereliction of all public duty and integrity (while spottily practicing 'selective,' and 'occasional' public service duty and representation), because all of the public watchdog systems themselves are rigged for abject failure, when it comes to all corrupt and tainted higher ups (that should be automatically held to a higher and highest thresholds BECAUSE of their civic positions of purported discretion and demanding responsibility). As for everyone else on the city and state payroll, just the accusation that a few office supplies are missing---and it's instant termination and a rescinding of one's pension benefits---in one fell swoop!

But, why should they bother to care, when the system itself always winds up shielding and protecting the most egregious examples of unconscionable misconduct, graft, corruption, cover-ups, kickbacks, payoffs and cronyism and nepotism for decades, before even marginal action is finally enforced?

And, at the helm of all of this high level, citywide sociopathy is another unqualified, intensely incompetent and failed leader himself---Scott Stringer, who acts like an exalted leader of great import, while he pretends to walk on water (actually, he is brazenly chauffeur-driven around town, above ground, no less!), while the rest of the unrepresented sewer rats are forced to rely on a subway system that makes steerage look downright civilized!

Perhaps, if he and the rest of the clown college university interns at MTA headquarters, City Hall and Albany ever bothered to descend down a subway staircase to witness firsthand, the epic ravages of their intensely incompetent, vastly overpaid public salaries, and profligate, wanton waste (where lunch and a manicure is the burdensome equivalent of a stressful day), then maybe there would finally be change that would evolve an underground, 21st century system that still remains an embarrassment to primates!

Richard Iritano said...

Perhaps, if he and the rest of the clown college university interns at MTA headquarters, City Hall and Albany ever bothered to descend down a subway staircase to witness firsthand, the epic ravages of their intensely incompetent, vastly overpaid public salaries, and profligate, wanton waste (where lunch and a manicure is the burdensome equivalent of a stressful day), then maybe there would finally be change that would evolve an underground, 21st century system that still remains an embarrassment to primates!

But, don't hold out for any other major investigations from 'String-along Stringer, and his sidekick, case cracking ace detective, Melinda Katz, because now it's champagne and caviar time for their grueling work---followed by Katz's shifting (and shifty) focus (like a bullet in flight!), on the mayoralty, while Stringer (if he doesn't first brake his arm from repeated pats to his own scaly back), will certainly seek yet another cradle-to-grave city teat to suck on (until maturity finally prevails---if ever), and then on to more impressively awful moments in false, fake and failed civic virtue-ignored history (no pun intended to the ACTUAL, evicted statue from Kew Gardens Plaza---which Empress Katz is STILL unbelievably planning to ignore (along with all public transparency, openness and public referendum), while she wrongly indulges a self-imposed, Neo-Fascist plan to re-purpose a public plaza square (hatched by the previous administration of notorious, Helen Marshall corruption), to honor the unimpressive leadership of women in politics, by (you guessed it), the very women who voted secretly to honor themselves (i.e., Julissa Ferreras and Katz's coffee clutch pal, Karen Koslowitz, who could wrestle alligators singlehandedly without chipping a claw, I mean nail!)---and the public fool taxpayer be eternally damned!

Richard Iritano said...

Now, if this is anyone's idea of honest, ethical leadership (that leads by example), and taxation WITH representation---then send me back in time to 1975, to East Germany, where I'm overdue for a scheduled, weekly interrogation and grilling by the Stasi Police! Hence, this is no form of American democracy that I've ever lived and formerly enjoyed, much less from a purportedly free Republic like the United States.

But, this is ONLY the beginning, all Queens comrades, so get used to the foisted dictatorship, then! Because, if we don't demand that our rights be reclaimed and restored for freedom to prevail, what other infinitesimal rights and freedoms are going to quietly and efficiently disappear next---like a 16-ton statue like 'Triumph of Civic Virtue,' that disappeared by forced eviction overnight, from Kew Gardens Plaza, on December 15, 2012?

Where is your outrage, Jimmy Van Bramer (or, Van Brainless), and Elizabeth Crowley (aka, Little Miss Political Patronage Fop), and all of the other 300% fake political leadership of Queens that is naturally missing in action? Now, seriously---talk about an embarrassment to primates!

Anonymous said...

Bring back Civic Virtue!

Anonymous said...

One of the many troubling aspects of this case is how the person assigned to clean up after Galante was suspended, is being investigated herself. Beyond the general gall of imitating Galante's actions, wouldn't she be smart enough to know that she would be watched?
Is it arrogance or gross stupidity?


I believe the comptroller's criticisms of Quinn-Carey were based on credit card charges that she made while Galante was still in charge, not after he left.

What I find even harder to believe is that the Comptroller found no malfeasance in the New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library audits. NYPL has spent millions on its (failed) Central Library Plan; and BPL is selling off buildings. Nothing to see there?

Anonymous said...

will PREET be looking into the new library dem. regime very soon ?stay tuned . they are really the big spenders. the unions have already infiltrated the cleaning operation.

Anonymous said...

Look into the so called New Americans program at the QBPL. A lot more going on than meets the eye. Why do Non English Speaking Chinese or Arabic people get preference in hiring over English speaking American Citizens?