It was a busy week for the The Queens Public Library/Thomas Galante story. Here’s a roundup. Links to our earlier coverage of the story are at the bottom of this post.
It was reported that the Queens Borough President, Melinda Katz, wrote a letter to the Queens Library Board asking them to end Galante’s $2 million golden parachute.
From the NY Daily News:
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is demanding that trustees of the Queens Library rein in their out-of-control chief executive, Thomas Galante, and eliminate a secret $2 million golden parachute in his employment contract.
“Faith must be restored in our library system,” Katz wrote Tuesday in a stinging letter to the 19 trustees, urging them to “act swiftly … to restore the trust that has been lost” after embarrassing revelations about library spending.
Galante’s employment contract guarantees him a payout of nearly $2 million if he is dismissed.
On Thursday, Galante was at Queens Borough Hall for a day-long budget hearing.
From the NY Daily News:
Galante usually outlines the library’s budget needs during the annual hearing. But he started his presentation addressing the firestorm over his $392,000 salary and compensation.
“We’ve been working very hard to address these issues and I do expect that a series of measures will be taken,” Galante told Katz and local lawmakers at the hearing.
More Details About the Budget Hearing via The Forum Newspapers
We learn that the Queens Library Board read Katz’s letter and will end Galante’s golden parachute.
From the NYDN:
The Queens Library’s board of trustees decided Thursday to remove the secret $2 million golden parachute of CEO Thomas Galante’s perk-filled $392,000-a-year contract.
The board voted to pay consultant The Hay Group $28,000 to review Galante’s contract and come back with recommendations on a new compensation package. His current contract contains a provision guaranteeing Galante’s eye-popping $2 million walk-away fee.
The payout is based on an “evergreen clause” added to Galante’s package that automatically renews and guarantees all five years of his contract every year.
The article also reports that the library board decided to change the rules so senior level executives must disclose outside income and potential conflicts of interest.
This decision comes after an audit of a Long Island school district showed Galante having a second job as a business consultant earning about $143,000/year.