Pressure To Oust Richie Kessel

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Richie Kessel

Richie Kessel, gadfly and loud self-congratulatory consumer advocate, bought a few shares of stock to get on the board of LILCO and a handful of other companies to shoot his mouth off at shareholder meetings. The fact that he has gotten this far is an amazing American story of a blowhard and the enabling power of the press who liked to interview him as if he was an expert.

In 2003, an audit by the New York State Controller criticized LIPA and Kessel for spending more than $45,000 to conduct improper political polls, and for paying more than $500,000 over 14 months to a single no-bid contracted employee. (Wiki)

Kessel was the target of an investigation by the New York State Office of the Inspector General for accepting separate salaries at LIPA for his roles as both chairman and president. In July 2008, the Inspector General ruled that he had not acted improperly, noting that he had been asked by Governor Pataki to stay on as chairman through 2006, that he had raised the issue that the Public Authorities Accountability Act prohibited him from being paid a salary as chairman and that he had received two written legal opinions that supported the position that a full-time chairman could be compensated. (Wiki)

On January 24, 2007, then-Governor Eliot Spitzer announced that Kevin Law would replace Kessel as Chairman of LIPA until the fall when a new Chairman would be named and Law would become Chief Executive Officer of LIPA.

In September 2008, Kessel was selected to become the President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Power Authority, which operates 18 power-generating facilities across New York State.

Now Richie faces a possible ouster for his wasteful spending of the taxpayer dollars.

“…John Dyson has only been a board member of the New York Power Authority for few weeks. But already he seems to be running the show.

At an emergency NYPA board of trustees meeting on April 4, Dyson updated the board on the status of a controversial proposal to construct an $850 million cable that would bring electricity to midtown Manhattan from New Jersey.

Dyson told the board that Gov. Andrew Cuomo had asked him to personally intercede.

“I have done that,” Dyson said, sitting at the head of the table at NYPA’s pristine 16th-floor conference room in a White Plains, N.Y., high-rise.

To Dyson’s left, NYPA CEO Richie Kessel sat silent, slumped in his chair.

Dyson, who was appointed by Cuomo in January, is widely seen as someone brought on board to keep the flamboyant Kessel in line, if not to fire him. Kessel has recently angered NYPA trustees by undertaking a number of costly initiatives without their prior knowledge. He is also under investigation by the inspector general.

“People have been talking about Richie Kessel’s future more than they have been talking about Charlie Sheen’s,” quipped one industry lobbyist..” Read more here: oust kessel

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