The Kessel NYPA Watch, January 15, 2011 – By George J. Marlin

I, Kessel

Last year, Richie Kessel travelled on the NYPA jet to Watertown and appeared before the County Legislature to push his offshore wind project on the people of the North Country.  His performance, part of his desperate attempt to retain his NYPA patronage job was notable for two reasons.  First, during his presentation the good people of Watertown booed Kessel.  Kessel seemed genuinely surprised by the result (why, Street Corner is not sure) but readers can see and hear the booing at around the 9:00 minute mark.  (A link to the video of Kessel’s filibuster is below.)

Just as important, Street Corner Conservative has done its darned best to count the number of times Kessel used the words “I”, “me” and “my”. Our research indicates that Kessel used these terms a staggering 60 times or once every 9 seconds.

In a comical moment, Kessel asserted that the gigantic wind turbines would be a North Country tourist attraction.  That specious and laughable assertion was greeted with guffaws laughs and boos.

Finally, Kessel resorted to the last refuge of the bureaucratic scoundrel by invoking the reliable canard that the public and legislators didn’t know enough about the project because it was preliminary and, as a result, the public should wait till more was known.  The problem with this bogus assertion is that Kessel and NYPA know lots about the project that they are not disclosing and that waiting is what the crafty bureaucrat wants so that when the people awake to an abusive project, it is too late and the project is a fait accompli. Street Corner Conservative believes that Kessel has met his match in the North Country.

Here’s the link:


Street Corner Conservative thanks its correspondents for their comments and suggestions and leads.  Now, Street Corner requests that you send along questions for Kessel to be asked by NYPA Board members and Senate Energy Committee Chair Senator George Maziarz.  Street Corner intends to compile those and send them along.


NYPA has not had a major issuance of debt since October 2007 except for issuances of tax exempt commercial paper.  Street Corner has heard from its contacts in public finance expressing concern that NYPA’s AA rating may suffer stresses from the Great Lakes Offshore Wind project and the Hudson River transmission project, both of which involve huge capital expenditures. This is especially of concern for an authority run by someone as innumerate as Richie Kessel.


Long-time observers of Kessel and LIPA will remember that his white elephant Jones Beach off-shore wind project was terminated by Governor Spitzer, who fired Kessel,  and Kessel’s successor at LIPA, Kevin Law, when they realized the huge increases in LIPA’s already sky-high rates that would occur were Kessel’s folly built.


Word in the government marketplace downstate is that Kessel has guaranteed the City of New York and the MTA that NYPA will absorb any and all cost overruns from the Hudson River transmission project. Three things are certain.  First, there will be cost overruns.  Second, with NYPA’s balance sheet absorbing the full cost, the City and MTA will be indifferent to the costs of the project.  Finally, Kessel’s drive to cut ribbons and hold press conferences will override any fiscal discipline, tough negotiating lines and business judgment.  Having watched Kessel for a long time, he is now at his most dangerous as he throws prudence to the wind to keep his public sinecure.


Kessel’s save-his-job strategy seems to be to latch onto new Lieutnant Governor Duffy and to bring him to as many Kessel press conferences as possible.  Word is that this down-to-earth former police officer isn’t buying this bologna.


Street Corner notes that it has been 145 days since its reasonable and limited FOIL requests.  There is no earthly reasons why a responsible agency could not long ago have fully responded to Street Corner’s FOIL.  Except one, namely that Kessel and his army of Long Island hacks fear public disclosure of the matters raised in the FOIL.  We will soon know.


Lastly, where is the NYPA board as all this unfolds?  John Dyson cannot return to the NYPA board soon enough.

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

55 Comments on “The Kessel NYPA Watch, January 15, 2011 – By George J. Marlin”

  1. PASNYlongtimer Says:

    Interesting that Kessel doesnt have one of his blog Road Notes up on out intranet about Obama visit (at least not yet)

  2. Rob Says:

    Kessel es un vago y debe ser despedido

  3. PennyPincher Says:

    new chair should talk to on-site managers about new employees who show up to work unwanted and unrequested and unbudgeted but sent by Rchie to satisfy politicians. so much waste with this guy

  4. ElvisFan Says:

    hey, NYPA board meeting on 25 Jan. Wonder whether this kessel stuff will be discussed.

  5. KeepHopeAlive Says:

    does anyone know whether kessel was at Obama’s speech in schenectady yesterday?

  6. PASNYlongtimer Says:

    from kessel PASNY bio

    Mr. Kessel, an expert on New York energy issues, served as chairman and chief executive officer of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) from 1997 to 2006, and as chief executive officer in 2007. Prior to this, he served as LIPA chairman from 1989 to 1997.

  7. AlbanyStudent Says:

    Fuschillo is a decent, smart guy. Believe me he knows who screwed up LIPA. Cuomo needs Skelos to get his budget done. There is no way that the guy who created LIPA and messed it up will get an encore.

  8. PullingforPASNY Says:

    Mr Dyson–what do you have when you combine Richie Kessel, no IG for 2 years and now no general counsel? Answer–A recipe for disaster

  9. GoodforaLaugh Says:

    Newsday says that Sen Fuschillo has been appointed by Energy Committee to oversee confirmation of LIPA ceo. Fuschillo who is from LI said he wants someone who has extensive utility experience and that LIPA has a long way to go. Since Richie ran LIPA forever I guess that leaves him in the cold

  10. AlbanyObserver Says:

    First meeting of Senate Energy Comm led by Sen Maziarz will be Tues at 930. Maziarz hates Kessel.

  11. NiagaraGuy Says:

    Buzz up here is that the first casualty of the Kessel firing will be the ridiculous GLOW project. Numbers dont pencil out and there is way too much opposition for it to happen. That will be a relief

    • watchinNYPA Says:

      We need the start this Union! If Kessel isn’t leaving, then I’m going to join the Union that Mr. Turner and Sgt. Cole are stating up north. Will we be a different Local that the Union at the sites? Will we have to travel north to go to a Union meeting? Are they only going to organize at the sites? Where are the cards they signed up north? I want one. Does anyone know anymore info on this topic?

  12. Ardsley914 Says:

    how much money did Kessel waste on lawyers and lobbyists on the stupid NYPA and LIPA merger he was playing with? did NYPA board approve this?

  13. AlbanyObserver Says:

    friend who knows second floor at the Capital says that Kessel did something crazy involving some other state agency late in Dec that really hurt him. Strange stuff

  14. KesselWatcher Says:

    Kessel gave our new Governor’s campaign 200 bucks in 2009. Big spender

  15. GalFriday Says:

    I forgot to say that the LIPA ceo job is open so Richie could slip back in there

  16. GalFriday Says:

    Larry Elovich one of D’Amato’s closest friends is on LIPA board and would hire Kessel back. Plus the LIPA chair is a Pataki guy like our Townsend. Cuomo won’t keep either of them. Dyson will replace Townsend that’s for sure. Maybe Kessel replaces the LIPA guy

  17. richiefan Says:

    Richie has gi¿en away more money to local governments around the State than any other NYPA CEO. He also bailed out the State last year and has been generous to our unions

  18. kesselwatcher Says:

    Since Kessel is all about press releases and self-promotion, here’s a worrying sign, last year by Jan 20 NYPA had issued 6 releases. This year only 3

  19. pasnytech Says:

    Richie Fan:

    Seriously, if you believe that Richie is a visionary and has creative leadership skills – I have a bridge in Brooklyn you might be interested in.

    Creative: “resulting from originality of thought”. Nope, he doesn’t pass the creative test.

    Courageous: “brave”. Nope, I’ll go with the antonym of courageous, which is “cowardly”.

    Visionary: “given to or characterized by fanciful, not presently workable, or unpractical ideas, views, or schemes”. We have a winner! Yes, Richie is most definitely a visionary. Go Windfarms…..!

    -pasny tech

  20. KesselWatcher Says:

    Word is that one of the LI 8 is close to taking a job at the Town of North Hempstead

  21. NYSTaxpayer Says:

    Kessel has been at the public trough since 1983 and makes about 400 big ones a year running NYPA. Way more than Governor Cuomo

  22. GoodforaLaugh Says:

    Let’s send suggestions that Kessel have a Town Hall meeting. That would be fun

  23. GalFriday Says:

    Frank Ryan’s wife is on board of LIPA. Kessel could go back there

  24. nearandaway Says:

    why did Kessel and the boys amend the NYPA charter to eliminate terms for officers? Perhaps because it ended risk of NYPA board having to act in April of this year to retain him. Without a term Richie stays in place with his big salary and private jet until he is let go. Smart

  25. CHOPower Says:

    Did NYPA respond to your FOIL? If not, it’s time to raise the roof

  26. farandaway Says:

    It would be of interest to check on Kessel’s contributions and spendings in light of the NYPA’s Charter, and further if he had his “Board” adopt changes to it to cover his tracks. Did the “Board” change the Charter without the legal right to do so?

  27. albany observer Says:

    No action by Senate Energy yesterday. Sen Maziarz organizing committee and finalizing agenda. Should be interesting

  28. richiefan Says:

    PASNYPerson–I’m just an admirer of Richie and think he has been a creative, courageous leader and has the vision needed.

  29. pasnytech Says:

    RichieFan – Fran – is that you?

  30. Watchinginwhiteplains Says:

    Lots of closed door meetings of Long Islanders, worried looks as they scurry about reassuring one and all that this will blow over. Few believe them. This sad episode in PASNY history will soon end.

  31. PowerZenMaster Says:

    The Crains story is a sign of Richie weakness not strength. If Richie were strong and secure he would have leaked only that he was staying and that he plays hoops with the Cuomos as he has often told us in White Plains . Fact he had to weaken Quinones is sign of his fear and weakness. He will be gone shortly after Dyson arrives. Kessel will beg and plead and whine to stay but PowerZenMaster says like the shortest day of the winter he will be dark and quickly over.

  32. Callmecynical Says:

    Richie had some lobbyisy who owes him call Crains and crap on Gil Q and support Richie. No one in the Governor’s office would have crapped on Gil. Another cynical, unsuccessful move by Richie. That sound you hear is the clock ticking on Kessel

    • colleague 1.0 Says:

      Maybe Gil Q is now finding out about being under the bus…where he belongs. Remember Gil was forced on NYPA by NYC who wanted him out….he was incompentent…but had some pull on the second floor courtesey of Bloomberg. Kelly did not want Gil Q…… and he was not needed orgainzationally. You will remember that the only one who ever stood up to The Whale and Gil Q was also the first one thrown under the bus….the first chief risk guys….at least he had a pair unlike the rest of the sr staff.

  33. Norichiefan Says:

    Crains says Cuomo has no plans to show Kessel the door. It doesnt say what the new NYPA board may do. Obviously, Richie threw Gil under the bus to eliminate him as a successor as CEO. Pathetic

  34. RichieFan Says:

    Today’s Crains has piece entitled Kessel to Stay at NYPA which says Gov Cuomo
    has no plans to remove Kessel as CEO of NYPA. Hooray for Richie and boo to all
    his detractors. Sad thing is that the source for Crains threw poor Gil under the
    bus and said he wasn’t ready to be CEO. Boo to that.

  35. pasnyhistorian Says:

    “Dyson did not scare me. Even with his father’s millions, he lacked any real gray matter and was no real threat. If it weren’t for his father’s money, no one would have talked to him.” D’Amato on John Dyson in Pasta, Politics and Potholes in 1995.

  36. Nighttime!Daytime! Says:

    Good riddance to that buffoon!

  37. NYPAVFW Says:

    Will Senate Energy committee meet today to set date of Dyson confirm hearing? They will be meeting on Tuesday at 1pm

  38. PowerBabe Says:

    Long Island folks that came with Kessel are polishing resumes and looking for new jobs. They are holding up brave front but say they realize Dyson will soon be in charge.

  39. Bobbi914 Says:

    We better print Richie’s picture on milk cartons. He hasn’t been seen in the office in some time. He’s Missing. If Found, please call the NYPA Board collect at 1 800 FIRE HIM.

  40. Undereveryrock Says:

    Take a look at all the community relations people hired since Kessel arrived for fraud, waste and abuse. They dont do anything but write newsletters and releases stroking Richie.

  41. ConcernedinWestchester Says:

    Mr. Marlin please email me at [Ed note: email address deleted] as I have some information I dont want to broadcast widely.

  42. pasnyvet Says:

    Leave Kessel alone already. He’s irrelevant and wont be around much longer. It’s time to move on

  43. JoeyPots Says:

    The SEC is cracking down on public finance disclosure filings for places like NYPA. People are worried about how to ‘plain some of the things going on to the SEC.

  44. NYPAListener Says:

    Who’s surprised by this. All Kessel does is talk and orate and bloviate and filibuster and speak and proclaim. He’s a low rent Obama, a cut rate O’Reilly. But he thinks that saying it is equal to doing it.

  45. NYPAAccountant Says:

    Word among senior management is that our CFO never sees Richie and is increasingly nervous about his shenanigans.

  46. WestchesterBob Says:

    Finally, more Kessel Watch. Everyone is reading your blog and the phones and emails are buzzing. Please keep the dish coming

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