From The NY Times:
In a sweeping critique of past spending and accounting practices at the Queens Library, a city audit released on Wednesday detailed more than $310,000 in prohibited expenses by the former president of the system, Thomas W. Galante, and by other executives. More than $100,000 of these expenses, officials contended, could amount to fraud and embezzlement.
Among the abuses, library executives used library funds to pay for “extravagant meals,” alcohol, tickets to a Maroon 5 rock concert, admission to Disneyland, airline upgrades, Apple TVs, a smoking balcony off the president’s office and smokeless ashtrays — all while maintaining that the library system was running a deficit, said Scott M. Stringer, the New York City comptroller, whose office conducted the audit and a related inquiry into possible misconduct.
Mr. Stringer said he had referred his findings to the Internal Revenue Service and to relevant law enforcement agencies. Federal investigators have also been looking into whether Mr. Galante improperly used money designated for library improvement to pay for renovations to his personal office and whether he steered construction contracts to an acquaintance.
Mr. Galante’s lawyer, Joseph W. Martini, said in a statement on Wednesday that his client “has not violated the law or been involved in any improprieties with respect to any matter throughout his career.”
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