The Wyandanch Public Library will pay an attorney $300 an hour to defend against a $30 million claim for damages from a woman who has alleged its head custodian repeatedly raped her in the facility when she was a teenager.
Custodian Kwaisi McCorvey, 51, of Farmingdale, pleaded guilty last week to raping that same young woman in North Amityville in 2016 when she was 16.
Newsday isn't publishing her name because she is a sexual assault victim.
She filed a notice of claim in July against the library, McCorvey and former library board trustees Ghenya Grant, Jordan Thomas and McCorvey's aunt — current Wyandanch school board vice president Nancy Holliday.
The claim, a precursor to a lawsuit against a public agency, also names current library board president Katrina Crawford and board trustees Norman Sellers and Kisha Carter as defendants.
Library board trustees on Monday voted 4-0 to hire Garden City attorney Charles Casolaro to represent the library and its past and present leaders against the claim.
“We need somebody who is versed in this, who can protect our interests and be able to communicate with the insurance company to find out exactly what coverage we have and what the next logical step is,” library attorney Shawn Cullinane said after the special board meeting.
Otherwise, library officials haven't commented on the litigation.
Casolaro, who also is the attorney for the villages of Babylon and Brightwaters, won't be representing McCorvey in the civil matter, according to Cullinane.
A confidential memo showed the young woman reported to the library's director in 2021 that she had sexual encounters with McCorvey in the library while underage, but McCorvey remained on the job until after his February arrest, Newsday reported last month.
Her claim says library officials knew or should have known McCorvey allegedly sexually assaulted her in the facility when she was underage, but took no action.
Library trustees suspended McCorvey with pay a week after his arrest and he still is collecting his $65,494 base salary following his guilty plea, according to Cullinane.
He said "the matter is still under review" when asked if officials were taking steps to fire McCorvey.