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Mamaroneck Library Imperiled by Missing Funds

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Updated Mar. 24, 2023: 

The Mamaroneck Public Library may be forced to close after officials found alleged significant misappropriation of funds by a longtime employee. The employee was suspended this week, officials say.

Mamaroneck Police received a complaint from the library about a matter of possible financial impropriety. Police say a forensic accounting investigation is underway.

The misappropriation is so severe, say officials, the Library is unsure that it has the ability to meet its immediate payroll demands.

The Library Board of Trustees recently discovered that funds have dwindled to nearly nothing, described by one Village official as “massive incompetence.”

In 2022 Mamaroneck Public Library was named Best Library in Westchester County by Westchester Magazine.

The Mamaroneck Library is not affiliated with the Village of Mamaroneck and is independently overseen by the Library Board of Trustees. Those library officials and its Director plan to issue a statement on Friday.

Update March 24, 2023

On Friday morning the Mamaroneck Public Library posted an announcement on its website of an emergency meeting of the library’s Board of Trustees and shared a link for the public to view the meeting with notice they would enter executive session for a “personnel matter.”

It appears that the meeting did not take place but the trustees issued the following statement.:

Last month, the Library Board of Trustees was made aware of financial irregularities involving the Library’s business office. As a result, the Library’s business official was immediately placed on administrative leave and a financial forensic audit was initiated.  This audit was focused on potential misappropriation and the status of all Library accounts.

As of March 22, 2023, the Library’s business official resigned. The financial forensic audit continues and the Library will take any and all measures necessary to address whatever issues are raised during the investigation.

We remain entirely committed to conducting a full investigation and working with the Village, the public, and all other agencies to maintain our great Library and the public faith. We realize that there will inevitably be many questions as we move forward and we respectfully request the public’s patience while we continue this process and until we are able to provide everyone with the complete and accurate answers that are deserved.

The Library Board understands that there may be difficult financial decisions ahead. However, Mamaroneck Public Library remains committed to serving the community as it has for the past hundred years.

 

Debra Quintana
Debra Quintana
Debra Quintana has been reporting for The Loop for several years. After living in Larchmont for 20 years she and her husband moved to Mamaroneck 3 years ago. Debra was a television news reporter in Texas, Florida, Colorado before moving to New York where she worked at WPIX-TV and WCBS-TV. She currently serves as the manager of The Golden Shoestring in Larchmont.

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Marge
Marge
April 5, 2023 2:33 PM

Unbelievable, but wholly believable. The victims of this crime are the staff of the library WHO MAY NOT GET PAID!! Could you imagine??? Obviously, the community and patrons also suffer. So sad that this kind of mismanagement would lead to this disaster. Does the board have a treasurer? Was nothing askew?? Did the library conduct an annual audit?? Nothing there either. SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT. MORE QUESTIONS AND MANY MORE ANSWERS ARE NEEDED.

EMS
EMS
March 28, 2023 6:18 PM

Research has shown that historically, libraries have “regularly violated most basic principles of internal control. In those cases (for example, trustee approval of payments) in which there were control mechanisms, these mechanisms were routinely ignored or violated by library personnel.”

All Board members and library director should also be investigated.They dropped the ball, the blame should be laid at their feet as well. SHAMEFUL!

https://publiclibrariesonline.org/2013/12/the-book-stops-here-should-library-boards-be-held-accountable-for-embezzlement/

Ross McTyre
Ross McTyre
March 26, 2023 5:21 PM

So where were the check and balances all this time. Fire all the board of trustees. They complain about spending money but don’t watch the books. Fire them all.

Thomas
Thomas
March 26, 2023 1:32 AM

As an independent entity the questions are multiple:

  • who was the independent auditor who approved the annual finances?
  • did the board had an audit of finances in place?
  • did the library board treasurer reviewed and from time to time forensic reviewed the finance process in place?
  • did the board of trustees and the director of the library review the bank statements and invoices in a monthly basis?
  • Did the board and the director were alerted by the independent auditor and how long they waited to make it public?
  • how much money was taken?
  • how many residents plan to attend the library board meeting going forward?
Lisa
Lisa
March 25, 2023 10:00 PM

It’s not a democratic issue or a republican issue, it’s a moral issue. Whoever did this stole from every tax payer in Mamaroneck. Shane on them. They should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the kaw.

Ron Cino
Ron Cino
March 25, 2023 7:29 AM

A truly sad story. The extent of which is yet to be learned.
Every community should have a Library they are proud of which supplies soooo many excellent resources.
Let’s get to the bottom of this tragedy and hopefully keep a library open and all the wonderful people who work there gainfully employed. Thank you.

Barbara Spelman
Barbara Spelman
March 24, 2023 5:58 PM

This is a sad story in our community. I was unable to access the names of the trustees this afternoon but could this morning. Have the names of the trustees and employees been removed from the website?

bigmouth
bigmouth
March 24, 2023 11:48 AM

Wow. This is shocking. Please follow up, Debra. We need more meat on this bone.

Say
Say
March 24, 2023 8:01 AM

The most important thing is that all the people who are living in Mamaroneck and particularly paying the library tax should know about this unbelievable fraud.
We need to attend public hearing in the Mamaroneck village court as soon as possible. Sunlight is the best disinfectant !

Watchdog 918
Watchdog 918
March 24, 2023 12:29 AM

Right. Another Murphy Coverup

Karen
Karen
March 24, 2023 7:10 AM
Reply to  Watchdog 918

The library is independent from the Village so how can he be responsible for a cover-up?

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