A member of the public addresses Wyandanch Public Library trustees at...

A member of the public addresses Wyandanch Public Library trustees at a meeting Monday. Credit: Rick Kopstein

The Wyandanch Public Library has hired an outside attorney to "address the matter of Kwaisi McCorvey," a library custodian who last month pleaded guilty to raping a teenager in 2016.

Sources with knowledge of the attorney's hiring said library officials are seeking to fire McCorvey, who is a Civil Service employee. State law sets a disciplinary procedure for firing such a worker.

Library officials released a statement from their attorney, Shawn Cullinane, saying Manhattan lawyer Noemi Baez — who will bill $250 an hour — was hired to "address the matter of Kwaisi McCorvey."

McCorvey couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

The library board suspended McCorvey, the facility's head custodian, with pay a week after his February arrest in the rape case.

In September, he pleaded guilty to third-degree rape and child endangerment in Suffolk County Court, admitting he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl in North Amityville in 2016. He remains on the payroll, despite not working for months.

Community members pressed library board trustees at a meeting Monday night about whether they planned to fire McCorvey, 51, of Farmingdale.

“I can’t in good conscience bring my daughter down here knowing these allegations,” Wyandanch resident Shawn Haynes, 46, told the board on Monday. “What’s being done?”

Cullinane referred to state Civil Service rules while replying during Monday's meeting and said officials are “pursuing the issue through special counsel to determine what the library can do.”

The victim in the rape case filed a notice of claim in July seeking $30 million in damages while naming McCorvey, the library and former and current library trustees as defendants.

The newspaper isn't publishing the young woman's name because she is a sexual assault victim.

The litigation, a precursor to a civil lawsuit, alleges McCorvey sexually abused the young woman when she was a minor during encounters that happened at the library between 2016 and 2018. He hasn't been criminally charged in connection with those allegations.

A confidential memo revealed the young woman reported to the library's director in September 2021 that she had sexual encounters with McCorvey in the library when she was 16, but McCorvey remained on the job until his February arrest.

At Monday's meeting, another Wyandanch resident suggested the library's employee handbook, which officials said is being updated, should address employee criminal convictions. Cullinane replied that such language is “being considered.”

Cullinane said Tuesday that the handbook, written in 2005 and updated in 2011, doesn't have anything “regarding the issue of criminal activity, convictions, arrests that would trigger some type of disciplinary action.”

Court records show McCorvey had two felony convictions before his hiring and has had several misdemeanor convictions since then. McCorvey has worked at the library since 2007 and collects a base salary of $65,494. 

A library trying to terminate a Civil Service employee must follow the procedure outlined under section 75 of state Civil Service law, Suffolk County spokeswoman Marykate Guilfoyle said.

The law states an employee must have a hearing based on the “charges of incompetence or misconduct,” and pending that hearing, an employee can be suspended without pay for up to 30 days.

The law also says an employer has up to 18 months “after the occurrence of the alleged incompetency or misconduct” to begin the termination process.

Haynes said after Monday's meeting that trustees should have fired McCorvey already.

“I’ve seen people fired from their jobs for a lot less,” the Wyandanch resident added. “The fact that he’s still getting paid with taxpayer dollars is disgusting.”

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