The Kessel NYPA Watch, September 13, 2009 – By George J. Marlin

KESSEL HIRES NIAGARA HACK WHO WAS ARRESTED AND IS WANTED BY NAACP

Our correspondents report that Richie Kessel has hired at NYPA Niagara Falls Councilman Steven Fournier, who was arrested at Bragg’s Tavern at 3:00 a.m. on May 2, 2009 for allegedly being highly intoxicated, yelling out racial slurs and for assaulting a police officer.  According to the August 27, 2009 Niagara Gazette, “For the second straight month, Niagara Falls Councilman Steven Fournier skipped out on an invitation from the city’s NAACP to discuss his recent arrest and alleged use of racial slurs.”

Our correspondent’s also claim that since Fournier could not pass the NYPA exam to be a security guard or janitor, he was hired as a tour guide at the Niagara Power Project.  Street Corner Conservative was unable to confirm whether Mr. Fournier, who is presumed by the legal system to be innocent until proven guilty, is still employed at the Niagara Power Project.

Some observers are concerned that a sitting upstate Councilman employed by NYPA is a walking conflict.  The Niagara Times blog observed “…the City of Niagara Falls and NYPA have a contractual relationship through the relicensing process.  There are times when the Council and NYPA are adversaries; there are times when the city is looking to NYPA for cash for projects, etc.  So, given this, tell me how this isn’t one big fat conflict of interest for Fournier to be working on NYPA’s payroll.”

Long-time observers of Kessel will not be surprised that Kessel hired Fournier.  He first used the tactic of hiring local elected officials and their ne’r-do-well relatives to buy support at LIPA.

Several years ago, at Kessel’s command, LIPA hired Lisanne Altman, then a disgruntled Nassau County legislator, as a “clean energy” expert at $63,000 per year, nearly double her legislative salary.  (In late 2005, Altman backed her then and now indicted Nassau Legislative colleague, Roger Corbin, and recipient of one of Richie’s political contributions in an unsuccessful coup to wrest control of the Legislature from the Democratic majority.  Mr. Corbin, too, is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.)  In addition to electeds, as reported over the years by Newsday, Richie was generous in hiring relatives and in-laws of the politically connected.

The Long Island Progressive Coalition called LIPA’s patronage hiring practices under Richie “disgusting.”  It appears history is repeating itself at NYPA.

* * * * *

 Richie Kessel on Richie Kessel:

“There are two kinds of people in this world.  Those who like me, and those who soon will.”

Thanks to our many correspondents who have contacted Street Corner Conservative with this memorable quote.

THE KESSEL COUNTDOWN: 475 DAYS UNTIL RICHIE KESSEL IS FIRED BY THE NEW GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK.

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One Comment on “The Kessel NYPA Watch, September 13, 2009 – By George J. Marlin”

  1. PASNYNorth Says:

    That is exactly what Kessel told me and a few of the guys after a meeting. I laughed to myself as all the guy cares about is whether people like him. And this is the person Patterson put in charge of an important institution like NYPA. God help us.


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