The Kessel NYPA Watch, May 24, 2010 – By George J. Marlin

Kessel Asides

Last month, NYPA CEO Richie Kessel downplayed the announcement that NYPA Trustee, Elise Cusak, a Pataki appointee and former Erie County legislator, had gone straight from the NYPA Board, where she served for seven years, to employment at NYPA as a community liaison for $77,500 per year.

Cusak had voted against Kessel’s appointment in 2008 but soon capitulated to Kessel’s charms and resumed her role as a docile and dormant NYPA trustee.  She later voted to extend the Kessel regime at NYPA.

Cusak, who previously worked for a communications firm, may have decided with AG Cuomo likely to succeed Kessel’s patron, Governor David Paterson, and with the State Legislature likely to remain in Democratic hands for years that this was a good time to make peace with Kessel in return for an easy-lifting paid NYPA sinecure.  So, in March Cusak “stepped down” in order to turn up moments later on the payroll.

Long-time observers of Kessel will remember that hiring sitting or former County legislators has been a Kessel tactic at LIPA and NYPA to reward a friend or silence a critic.

Finally, don’t underestimate Kessel’s kind treatment of Cusak in keeping on the reservation other NYPA trustees whose terms may not be extended by Governor Paterson or Cuomo.  Getting the Cusak treatment once they depart the NYPA Board may look attractive in today’s harsh job climate for political hacks of the party out of power.


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8 Comments on “The Kessel NYPA Watch, May 24, 2010 – By George J. Marlin”

  1. Joana Says:

    I heard NYPA was particularly corrupt and that several years ago the company speechwriter blew the whistle on the crooked NYPA chairman to the Millstein Commission set up to look into the corruption. NYPA’s inspector general — Dan Wiese — then went out to persecute the one honest man in the organization. No suprise there. Wiese was also the subject of a Village Voice article detailing how Pataki campaign was selling pardons to prison inmates to raise money and how Wiese helped close down an investigation into the scandal. When the Feds put him on the hot seat, Wiese pleaded the Fifth Amendment. Wiese later turned up as a key figure in the Troopergate Scandal.

  2. Disgusted By The Fat Whale Says:

    When is this whale going to have another of his nauseating all hands meetings to tell us what “wonderful” things he’s accomplishing???

    I really hope somebody that has filed their retirement papers steps up to the plate at the next meeting and takes this self-centered moron to the mat about how he is filling the payroll with one unqualified and grossly overpaid political hack after another, while the people really running NYPA haven’t seen a dime since the beginning of 2008. I’d love to see the expression on his face if that were to ever happen.

    You absolutely suck Kessel, if there is any fairness in this world, you and your talentless army of hacks will be shown the door in the near future.

  3. Phil Mihiney Says:

    Thank God I left the corrupt cesspool that NYPA is. Although I never was a part of it and fought my hardest against it (a losing battle since I wasn’t one of the Gov’s boys)each day I left work I felt dirty and disgusted. Just think of the legacy of NYPA, names like Vesce, Wiese, Swansen (Vesce’s brother in law), Carey, Kelley, Kelly and all the other Pataki and Spitzer zeroes who are still esconsed there. WHAT A DISGRACE. We told AG Cuomo all about them but NOTHING was done. Now Fat Boy Kessel comes along and it GETS EVEN WORSE!!!! When are people going to wake up and see what is going on there and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!! Or is the corruption so deep that all hope is lost??

  4. pasnytech Says:

    So, what about the newest hire? Ms Karen Pasquale – currently Spano’s assistant at Westchester, soon to become the new SVP of Employee Services.

    What about Joan Tursi? She was doing a good job.

    This job wasn’t advertised. We had someone in place, qualified to do the job, a respected long time NYPA employee. And now we bring in yet another Jabba The Hut political appointee?

    When will this madness stop? When the money runs out? That shouldn’t be long.

    Mr Street Corner Conservative – why isn’t someone doing a full blown story on NYPA and Kessel? What happened to the guy at the Post? Who shut him up?

    • TakingThePackage Says:

      Ms. Pasquale is the former assistant to the former county executive (Andy Spano) so she was out of a job since January. So here comes NYPA to the rescue! NYPA’s “new hiring policy” is to fill a vacant posiiton at no more than 15% below the vacator’s salary, then if Joan Tursi is making $200,000 then Ms. Pasquale can be making close to $170,000. But the position was not vacant as Mr. Tursi is still a SVP of Enterprise Shared Services – three groups were transferred to Ms. Pasquale (over 100 people from Procurement, Real Estate and Information Technology) and Tursi was left with less than two dozen or so reports (Facility Management and Corporate Support.) So I wonder how this “new” position is justified? If anyone knows, please enlighten us…..

  5. TakingThePackage Says:

    The paperwork for Cusak was already being process even before she gave notice. She gave notice on Tuesday to the Trustees and she already had the new job on the following Monday. Talk about nepotism!! Also, with NYPA not allowing promotions without going through Kessel and pormotions not being approved unless it is a different job function than how is it that Francine Evans is now a SVP Administration & Chief of Staff. This is a Bu!!Sh!t title for a job that didn’t even exist before Kessel came in to ruin the Authority!!

  6. PASNYPatriot Says:

    This behemoth is a classic do as I say, and not as I do type of guy. I had the pleasure of attending his “Senior Staff” meeting which he had a Chineese lunch DRIVEN IN FROM LONG ISLAND BY A PRIVATE SERVICE!!! Every speech this Jabba the Hut look-alike gives he mentions Public perception. No raises – Public perception, No team building BBQ’s in the summer – Public perception. But having a lunch drinven in from 60 miles aways by private service is OK because its for the Royalty of this political machine! Someone save us!

  7. beaten & bruised Says:

    So much for avoiding the appearance of impropriety. This should make for an interesting financial declaration if she even bothers. Here at NYPA we have seen the true Richie Kessel. A mean spirited bully who has no remorse about running a once great state asset or it’s long time dedicated civil servant’s careers to ruin to suit his or his master’s gain. If Saint Andy is elected look for him use Kessel to completely dismantle what remains of NYPA right down to selling the art work at the visitors centers just like Dad tried to do. I’ve been around long enough say with some certainty that the combination of Cuomo & Kessel will forever change New York’s energy landscape for the worse. I pray that someone addresses the issue during the election campaign and shines a very bright light on Kessel’s unseemly rein as New York’s self proclaimed energy czar.

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