Katz Asks Galante To Take Leave Of Absence

Staff Writer

Earlier this week, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz sent an open letter to embattled Queens Library CEO Thomas Galante, recommending that he take a leave of absence.

Galante has been under fire by media and elected officials alike for his $391,994 annual salary and $140,000 in office renovations.

Allegations that taxpayer money was used to fund Galante’s six-figure salary and lavish office upgrades, which includes a private outdoor smoking area, prompted the City Council to hold an oversight hearing and City Comptroller Scott Stringer to launch an audit of all three library systems.

In the open letter, which was sent out to press, Katz warned Galante that in order for Queens Library to continue to receive funding from her office and the offices of other elected officials in the Borough, they must have “faith in the integrity of the institution and its leadership.”

“Given the current state of uncertainty and turmoil, I don’t believe you will be able to successfully lead the institution through this budget cycle and the Library will suffer, which is an outcome nobody wants,” she wrote.

Katz went on to say that in order to ensure the Library’s continued growth and success, the best option for Galante is to temporarily step down.

“Your voluntary suspension of leadership would go a long way towards realizing those goals and restoring public faith in this vital institution,” she wrote.

A spokesperson for Queens Library declined to comment.

Reach Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or or @nkozikowska.