QUEENS — The Queens Library hopes this will be the final chapter of the Thomas Galante era.
The library has agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle the severance lawsuit that its former president and CEO — fired for his questionable expenses in 2014 — filed last year.
The library said its decision was made, in part, to avoid further legal costs.
“It’s in the best interest of this institution and the public to put our time and resources towards our future, rather than litigate this matter to conclusion,” said Queens Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott in a statement. “I look forward to continuing our work of providing outstanding service to all of our customers.”
According to the settlement filed Monday evening in Brooklyn Federal Court, Galante will receive $300,000 and the remaining $1.2 million will cover his legal fees.
About half of the entire amount will be paid by the library's insurance, sources said.
"Mr. Galante is very pleased," his lawyer, Thomas Rohback, said Tuesday. "He is looking for an opportunity to get on with his life, he is very proud of the service he provided the library for years and he wishes them well."
Galante, who served as the library's president and CEO for more than a decade, came under fire in 2014 for his $392,000 a year salary and controversial expenses, including $140,000 for renovating his office at the library's main branch in Jamaica that featured a smoking deck.
City Comptroller Scott Stringer conducted an audit, which showed that Galante mismanaged the library financially, including $310,000 he charged to library credit cards over three years for purchases like Mets memorabilia, Maroon 5 concert tickets, office furniture and lavish dinners.
Galante filed his lawsuit against the library seeking more than $2 million in severance pay last November, claiming that his firing was politically motivated.
Earlier this year, the library filed a countersuit demanding its former CEO return more than $200,000 in personal expenses.
In September, however, the library suffered a setback when a federal judge ordered it to cover Galante’s defense costs.