Nov. 3, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
After being fired from his position as President and CEO, Thomas Galante is suing the Queens Library for $2 million over what he considers a wrongful, politically motivated termination.
Galante was fired last December following allegations of extravagant improper spending, including tens of thousands on food, alcohol and entertainment, and, famously, a $27,000 rooftop patio next to his office.
His ouster occurred only after Mayor Bill de Blasio and Queens Borough President Melinda Katz gutted and rebuilt the Queens Library Board, replacing several trustees who had opposed Galante’s termination.
Galante filed a complaint in federal court Monday, alleging that his termination had no valid basis and was politically motivated.
“We found that the Library’s assertion that there was ‘cause’ to terminate Mr. Galante was completely meritless and pretextual,” Galante’s lawyer Thomas Rohback said in a statement.
In July, City Comptroller Scott Stringer released an audit and report detailing thousands in improper spending from both Galante and, to a much lesser degree, current interim President and CEO Bridget Quinn-Carey.
Galante’s complaint also charges that Stringer’s report was inaccurate and politically motivated. He argues that library spending on dinners and drinks noted in the report were expenses for fundraising activities and business dinners with attendees including the Comptroller and Borough President.
“After reviewing the complaint brought by Mr. Galante, we believe his claims are without merit and our actions to remove him were completely justified,” the Queens Library Board of Trustees said in a statement.