Longtime Democratic operative Gerard Terry has stepped down as the attorney for the Roosevelt Public Library Board after Newsday reported that he collected nearly $1.4 million in federal and state tax debts while making hundreds of thousands of dollars in government jobs.
Library director Lambert Shell said in an interview Thursday that “the board and him agreed to part ways” before the trustees’ meeting Wednesday night. The library paid Terry $36,128.69 in 2015.
The departure continues a fall from power for Terry, who had consulted on candidates for town office and Nassau County judgeships. Terry resigned his party post Monday as North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth called for his resignation and said the town would not renew contracts for him to work as the zoning board of appeals attorney and special counselor to the town attorney.
Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas’ office is investigating Terry’s public work, her spokesman said Monday. The review is to cover Terry’s contracts and billing, and any financial disclosure statements filed with the Town of North Hempstead Board of Ethics.
Terry quit his post as an attorney for the Nassau County Board of Elections Tuesday after Democratic Commissioner David Gugerty asked him to resign amid questions in a Newsday report about Terry’s work production for the board. Gugerty said in a statement that the revelations about Terry’s “personal conduct raised questions in the public’s mind about whether he should be playing any role in administering elections.”
Shell, who said he took office as the Roosevelt library director about five weeks ago, said Terry’s departure from the library was related to the “gist of what’s going on.” Shell said that officials read a statement at the library board of trustees meeting Wednesday night addressing Terry’s departure.
Terry, who could not be reached for comment, made more than $217,000 in 2015 working six government jobs. He is the attorney for the Long Beach Housing Authority and Freeport Community Development Agency. Newsday also reported that Terry was the subject of five lawsuits and served as a public attorney while having a lapsed registration.
Singas had said in a statement Saturday that Terry’s issues should “disqualify any lawyer from government work.”
Terry recently told Newsday that he was working to settle his tax debt for less than the full amount. When he left the Board of Elections, Terry said he was working “on resolving issues in my personal life,” and that he did “not want that process to interfere in any way with the Board of Elections.”