Residents Seek Information About New City Library Attorney

Protest concerns lack of discussion and information about his background


Members of New City Library Watch attended Thursday Board of Trustees meeting to request more information about the recently retained attorney for the library.

Harry Bloomfeld, also a member of the Friends of the New City Library and former board member, noted at Thursday’s New City Library Board of Trustees meeting that no details of t’s background had been publicly provided. He pointed out that Albrecht appeared unknown to most board members and that there not been any discussion of his expertise in library law or about his fee schedule when he was hired last month.

“There was no discussion of how Mr. Albrecht was selected,” said .

Board President Joseph Reiter addressed some of the questions during the meeting. He said several attorneys were considered for the position; one of them was Keith Cornell.  Reiter said the chair of the Personnel & Finance Committee had been given Albrecht’s resume but it was not shared with the public. 

Albrecht’s hourly salary will be $250; the prior attorney received $300 an hour. Reiter said it did make financial sense for the attorney to be on a retainer because the library did not generate that much work.

Bloomfeld directed questions to the four board members who voted in favor of Albrecht.

“Mr. Poulose: I cannot believe that you voted for the Library to hire someone you knew nothing about, except that he was proposed by Mr. Ninan?”

“Mr. Mulrooney: I cannot believe that you voted for someone without knowing his fee schedule and how it compared with hat of the library’s previous attorney?”

After the meeting, Reiter provided additional details about Albrecht, who is a single practitioner based in Suffern.

“He’s got expertise in dealing with unions, labor law and non-profits,” said Reiter, noting Albrecht has represented both rank and file and management. 

Reiter said he knew Albrecht from when the two of them worked together 20 years ago. He said there was no interview, the members of the Personnel & Finance Committee agreed to his hiring. Four members of the board approved the appointment.

Mike Hirsch July 23, 2012 at 06:41 PM
This is the way political business is done in Clarkstown. Thank you for speaking up Harry.
Rob July 24, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Hope he gets a lot of work done in one hour....Can't they find an attorney to work for half that amount....You know...I'm sure there are plenty of others who probably would.. What is he going to be doing for $250 per hour. Why does the library need an attorney anyway...How many hours will he be milking the taxpayers ?


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