Local residents pressed Wyandanch Public Library trustees for answers on the job status of the facility's head custodian at a board meeting Wednesday, two weeks after he admitted to raping a teenager in 2016.
Officials then confirmed Kwaisi McCorvey, 51, of Farmingdale, remains suspended with pay after pleading guilty on Sept. 13 in Suffolk County Court to raping a 16-year-old in North Amityville.
The same young woman filed a notice of claim against the library, McCorvey and former and current trustees seeking $30 million in damages, while alleging McCorvey repeatedly raped her there when she was a minor.
The claim, filed in July as a precursor to a lawsuit, also alleges library trustees knew or should have known about the sexual abuse between 2016 and 2018 but took no action.
Wednesday's meeting was the first time community members could question library trustees about the legal mire surrounding McCorvey since his guilty plea.
It also was the first public comment period at a board meeting since Newsday reported in August on a confidential library memo.
The document 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 stayed on the job until the board suspended him with pay a week after his February arrest.
“The whole community is upset,” Wyandanch resident Felice Holder, 63, told the board. “There were people here who knew what was going on. And the community wants to know what is going to be done with him since he pleaded guilty.”
Board members and library attorney Shawn Cullinane didn't answer the question until Holder and another resident urged a response.
“The matters that are before the library regarding that situation are currently under review and will be addressed at the earliest opportunity,” Cullinane said, later confirming McCorvey still was being paid.
McCorvey has worked at the library since 2007 and collects a base salary of $65,494. He has been one of the public institution's highest-paid employees, earning as much as $158,298 annually in the past with overtime.
The notice of claim names as responsible parties former trustee Nancy Holliday, who is McCorvey’s aunt, along with former trustees Ghenya Grant and Jordan Thomas and current trustees Katrina Crawford, Norman Sellers and Kisha Carter. Holliday is the Wyandanch school board vice president.
None has commented on the litigation.
“What is the plan for the removal of board members, or resignation of those members who sat on this board when the rape victim first informed the library?" Wyandanch resident Helisse Palmore, 50, asked Wednesday.
Palmore also criticized the board's vote last week to hire outside attorney Charles Casolaro of Garden City for $300 an hour to represent the library and trustees in the litigation.
Then she asked trustees if any safety measures had been put in place in light of McCorvey's conviction. But the board and library attorney didn't answer her questions.
“The members of this board, due to the inaction, and that’s former board members and those who are sitting on this board who were made aware of it close to three years ago, you should be ashamed of yourselves,” Palmore admonished. “We’ve had enough as a community.”
Trustees later voted to rescind Casolaro's hire and to hire two law firms — Manhattan-based Chartwell Law of Manhattan and Melville-based McAndrew, Conboy and Prisco — in his place.
Cullinane said the library was waiting on retainer agreements after a resident asked what the firms would be paid.