NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer‘s office is auditing the Big Apple’s three library systems after a newspaper report suggested the Queens system might have been wasteful with taxpayer dollars.
According to the New York Daily News, Thomas Galante, president of the Queens Borough Public Library, spent $140,000 last year to renovate his office, including $27,000 on a rooftop deck he uses for smoke breaks. Galante also receives a $391,594 salary and a car allowance of $37,000, the newspaper reported.
Galante told the Daily News there was nothing improper about the renovations and said his salary is “average” among nonprofit CEOs.
Stringer said his audits, which he announced Wednesday, will focus on spending practices, executive pay, capital improvements, the use of city tax levy funds and the oversight role of library boards.
“Taxpayers deserve to know that public money is being spent appropriately,” Stringer told WCBS 880. “My auditors will assess whether the spending practices of our library systems follow rules and business practices that ensure that taxpayer money goes to where it’s supposed to go. We want our libraries to maximize the value of the public funds they receive.”
Stringer said if his office finds any deficiencies, he would issue recommendations “to make the library stronger.”
The audit will also include the Brooklyn Public Library and the New York Public Library, which serves Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island.
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