The Queens Borough Public Library announced late Wednesday that "notices were received by several Queens Library trustees, removing them from the Board." A spokeswoman for the QBPL, which has been under fire for perks awarded to director Thomas Galante, would not divulge the names of those ousted, but the Daily News has them as Joseph Ficalora, William Jefferson, Grace Lawrence, George Stamatiades, Jacqueline Arrington, Terry Mangino, Patricia Flynn, Stephen Van Anden.
"Throughout the history of the Queens Borough Public Library, the people of Queens have benefitted enormously from a highly committed library Board of Trustees whose leadership has helped keep libraries open and free," the QBPL said in a statement. "They have helped make Queens Library a recognized national model of excellence. The Board consists of volunteer high-profile professionals and community activists who make time out of their busy schedules. Every one of the tens of millions who has enriched his life through Queens Library owes them thanks for their service."
Last month, our contributor Suzanne Travers took a deep look at all three library systems' boards and filed this report. Among other things, it reported:
When asked for basic biographical information — age, profession, neighborhood, years on the board — following a meeting [in May], four Queens trustees declined to answer or provide a phone number for a later interview. "I don’t think I’m going to do that," said trustee William Jefferson. The others — Grace Lawrence, Patricia Flynn and Terri C. Mangino — simply said "no."
Comptroller Scott Stringer (whose office is conducting one of several investigations of the library system) said in a statement: "I commend Queens Borough President Melinda Katz for initiating changes to the Queens Library Board that I believe will be in the best interests of taxpayers, accountability and good governance. It is my hope that the information requested by my audit team will be made available without further delay."