Stringer Plans to Audit All of City's Public Libraries

By Jeanmarie Evelly on January 29, 2014 4:06pm 

 Comptroller Scott Stringer said Wednesday that he planned to audit the city's three public library systems.
Comptroller Scott Stringer said Wednesday that he planned to audit the city's three public library systems.
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DNAinfo/ Emily Frost

NEW YORK CITY — Comptroller Scott Stringer said Wednesday that he plans to conduct on audit of the city's three library systems, following a recent controversy over reports about the Queens Library's chief executive's massive salary.

Stringer plans to audit the Queens Public Library, the Brooklyn Public Library and the New York Public Library, which has branches in Manhattan, Staten Island and The Bronx.

The audits will scrutinize each system's spending practices, executive pay and compensation, as well as funding for capital improvements and the use of city tax levy funds. The audits will also look at the oversight role of the library systems’ individual boards of trustees, according to a statement.

"Our public libraries are vital resources for New Yorkers and taxpayers deserve to know that public money is being used appropriately," Stringer said in a statement.

The announcement comes after the Daily News reported that Queens Library president Thomas Galante collects a $391,594 salary and spent $140,000 last year on renovations for his offices, according to the paper. The salary continued to be paid amid massive layoffs and spending freezes for the organization, the News reported.

The chairman of the Queens Library's board of trustees defended Galante's pay Tuesday, saying it is on par with those of other nonprofit CEOs in New York City. In a statement on the organization's website, Queens Library also defended their renovations, saying they're part of a larger $20 million modernization project for the entire Central Library building in Jamaica.

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

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