March 11, 2014 | 1116 views
EPL consultant's link to Queens Library director under investigation
As reported by other news outlets, Elmont Library Business Consultant Frank Marino’s possible ties to Thomas Galante, Queens Library director, are under investigation.
The investigation is exploring whether Marino and his Merrick-based contract-handling firm, Advanced Consulting Corporation, has any personal ties to Galante — whose spending over the past three years is being examined by the FBI and the city’s Department of Investigation after reports surfaced that he, Galante, may have used money that was designated for library improvements, for renovations to his own personal office. Reports indicate that Galante has directed 15 Queens Library improvement projects to Marino’s firm since 2008. The possibility of personal ties stems from the fact that both Galante and Marino have professional ties to Elmont — the former to its school district and the latter to its library.
According to reports, Galante’s salary has also come under scrutiny in addition to his spending being investigated — he oversees the 62 libraries in the system and is paid a reported $400,000 annually for his work as director at Queens Library and as a consultant with the EUFSD.
Other news outlets have reported that a spokeswoman for the Queens Library has said that Marino — who handles the contracts and negotiations for the Elmont Library with outside agencies — was chosen to handle the 15 improvements projects for Queens Library strictly through a regular bidding process. Since the investigation, there have not been any indications from any report that Marino has done anything illegal.
Elmont Library Director Dr. Roger Podell, whom Board President Monique Hardial told the Herald would comment on the investigation on behalf of the board, expressed support for Marino.