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Queens Chronicle

FBI reportedly probing Queens Library spending

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Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:37 am, Thu Mar 13, 2014.

Queens Library Executive Director Tom Galante may now be the target of a federal probe into his spending of taxpayer funds.

Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the city Department of Investigation came to the Central Library in Jamaica last Friday with subpoenas for both Galante and the library’s construction management consultant, the Daily News reported Wednesday.

They reportedly are seeking information on the library’s use of the consultant, Frank Marino of Advanced Consulting Corp., someone Galante knows through his work with the Elmont School District.

According to the News, which has led the recent spate of reporting on the library’s finances, Marino has managed 15 library improvement projects since 2008.

Library spokeswoman Joanne King confirmed that the library had “received a request” for documents but could not immediately provide further details.

In another development, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz on Monday sent Mayor de Blasio a letter asking that the city bar the library from granting further contracts for capital improvements on its own. Instead, Katz said, the city should take responsibility for all library construction projects “to help insure better accountability and transparency.”

Katz also wrote the chairman of the library Board of Trustees, insisting the members immediately institute a number of financial reforms.

King issued a statement defending the capital building program, saying, “Every project has been carried out with one goal: to build/renovate library spaces that the community needs and enjoys using. Every aspect of our capital budget has been appropriately expended. The library will comply with lawful requests for information by oversight or enforcement entities. We are confident that concerns will be addressed satisfactorily and any questions will be put to rest.”

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