The Kessel NYPA Watch, October 12, 2009 – By George J. Marlin


As we observe the first anniversary of the Kessel regime at NYPA, and since Richie disbanded the internal Inspector General function at NYPA, Street Corner thinks a primer on NYPA’s annus horribilis will be useful when the inevitable investigations begin.

1. How was NYPA Chair Michael Townsend able to vote on part of the NYPA money transfer to the State earlier this year but not the portion in which his upstate law firm had been hired to represent the Division of the Budget on the transfer documents? Did Townsend’s affirmative vote on one transfer which made possible the second transfer on which he abstained not call into question the entire matter? Is this in accord with State law and regs? With the Legal Canons of Ethics?

2. A related question—how was it that of all the hungry lawyers in the State of New York, Budget hired the firm of NYPA’s Chairman for this task? Propriety and avoiding even an appearance of impropriety would have called for some other lawyer to do this work. Did Kessel play any role in requesting or directing DOB that this work go to Chairman Townsend?

3. Has any past or present NYPA Trustee received health insurance since Attorney General Cuomo’s announcement that such coverage was illegal for unpaid, part time directors and trustee of State agencies such as NYPA?

4. Has any NYPA trustee received Kessel’s Knicks tickets or other sports tickets gratis from Richie?

5. Does Kessel pay fair market value for his game ticket when he travels to the Super Bowl each year?

6. Did Kessel play any role in directing business directly or indirectly to any NYPA trustee?

7. How much has NYPA given to charities not related to its core mission in violation of State law since Attorney General Cuomo’s determination that State authorities could not use public funds for such contributions? Has Kessel asked vendors, actual and prospective, to support events in which he receives a plaque, commendation or tchotchke?

8. What were the circumstances under which NYPA entered into sole source contract with Bank of America to issue an opinion blessing the turnover of hundreds of millions of dollars of NYPA funds to the State? Why was this sole sourced when lots of firms could do this work for over $100,000?

Street Corner Conservative notes that this is a partial list, some of which like Chairman Townsend’s interesting conflict kabuki and the BofA contract are a matter of public record and others of which were passed along by our readers. We thank NYPA staff for their suggestions and welcome further thoughts. As always, confidentiality will be strictly maintained.


Explore posts in the same categories: Richie Kessel NYPA Watch-SCC

5 Comments on “The Kessel NYPA Watch, October 12, 2009 – By George J. Marlin”

  1. NYPADisgusted Says:

    Well, now we know why Kessel was eager to get rid of our IG function and to get rid of the risk guy who cost NYPA money on hedging but at least was trying to do the right thing.

  2. Gov'tMule Says:

    Are parasites a necessary part of life? Do they belong at the top of the food chain?

  3. NYPA beaten Says:

    Regretably and unfortunateley I’m not surprised by any of this. To bad all the good people we have at NYPA have to suffer with this stuff and get tared by the Kessel and Quiniones brush. Kessel disbanded the internal IG function…..what correctly functioning and structured big company doesn’t have one of these….and they threw the Chief Risk officer under the bus when he spoke out…so no internal watch dog left of any kind. Interanl audit certainly isn’t going to speak up after what happened to the IG and Chief Risk guy. From what I know while both weren’t always popular they both tried to do the right thing, and most knew that, and look what it got them. The Trustees seem out to lunch too.

  4. ColleagueX Says:

    That’s great. Both sides of corruption case want Richie’s testimony. I don’t know whether he’s done anythin wrong but he sure knows how to play both sides.

  5. Colleague3.0 Says:

    A lawyer buddy of mine in Albany says our CEO Kessel is on the witness lists for Senator Bruno’s corruption trial next month. Kessel is on the witness list for both the Feds and for Bruno. My buddy says it has to do with some couple in Brooklyn who were indicted recently for different corruption that Bruno introduced Kessel to or vice versa.

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