The Kessel NYPA Watch, June 26, 2011 – By George J. Marlin

KESSEL’S NYPA REIGN:  IT’S ALL ABOUT DINING

Our NYPA correspondents report that C.E.O. Richie Kessel rarely shows up for work at his White Plains office.  On the average, his office appearances are often limited to two half days a week.  The rest of the work week he spends flitting around Long Island and New York City going to luncheons, giving speeches and receiving vanity honors.

Dining plays a very important and expensive role in the lives of Kessel and the hacks on his senior staff.  For instance, NYPA employees have been ordered to pick up food from Manhattan’s Carnegie Deli and from one of Kessel’s favorite Long Island Chinese restaurants to feed Kessel and senior staff at his White Plain’s Executive Management Committee meetings.  In these difficult economic times, it is an outrage that ratepayers’ hard-earned dollars are being wasted on NYPA employees traveling all over the metropolitan region to procure chow for Kessel and his hacks.

There’s more:  Recently received FOIL information from NYPA reveals that Kessel and his staff spend plenty of ratepayers’ money to wine and dine at luncheons and dinners that have nothing to do with NYPA’s mission.  Here’s a very small sampling:

June 2010 The Long Island Housing Partnership
$1,500 – The Crest Hollow Country Club
June 18, 2010 Vision Long Island Smart Growth Awards Dinner
$2,000 – VIP Table
September 2010 Nassau Council of Chamber of Commerce 2010 Breakfast
$2,500
September 18, 2010 The Latimer House Museum Luncheon
$350 – Flushing, Queens
September 22, 2010 Building Long Island
$2,500 – Carlyle on the Green
September 24, 2010 The Regional Alliance for Small Contractors Annual Awards Luncheon
$3,000 – “The Lighthouse” Pier Sixty
October 7, 2010 The Bronx Chamber of Commerce 8th Annual Awards Banquet
$2,400 – Marina Del Rey
October 16, 2010 Rockville Center, L.I. Chamber of Commerce
“A Taste of Elegance – An evening of dining, dancing and wine tasting.”
$750
October 25, 2010 White Plains Youth Bureau 40th Anniversary Gala
$750 – Crowne Plaza Hotel
November 2010 Save What’s Left 33rd Anniversary Awards Gala
$4,850
November 10, 2010 Kids X-Press “Touch the Sky” Awards
$500 – Ritz Carlton, White Plains
January 12, 2011 Long Island Association County Executives Report Luncheon
$200 – Crest Hollow Country Club
January 29, 2011 “Bellmore in Bloom” Dinner
Chamber of Commerce of the Bellmores, L.I. –
$400 – Woodbury Country Club

Questions for NYPA Trustees:

1)     Why is NYPA’s CEO permitted to be absent from his White Plain’s work office most of every work week?  Why is he treated differently from every other NYPA employees who must report to their workstations every day?  Why isn’t he disciplined or fired?  Isn’t this theft of service?  What do Kessel’s time sheets say about how he spends his time at the public trough?

2)     Why is Kessel permitted to force NYPA employees to serve as gofers spending their work day picking up food for him?  Doesn’t that sound like what got Alan Hevesi in a heap of trouble?

3)     Why are Kessel and his staff members permitted to squander money on luncheon and dinner events that have nothing to do with NYPA’s mission?

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9 Comments on “The Kessel NYPA Watch, June 26, 2011 – By George J. Marlin”

  1. harpooned Says:

    He GONE! JUST RESIGNED! !!!!!

  2. The Grand Wizard Says:

    Kessel resigned on 7/26/11 – effective 9/6/11. Quinones will be acting President and CEO…so we all got our wish 😉


  3. Unfortunately Richie Kessel appears to have more lives than a cat. When he left the Long Island Power Authority the world was relieved to finally rid the utility of this political gadfly. He left LIPA in shambles and ineffectual, let alone his complete disconnection of day to day operations allowed its prime sub contractor ,National Grid, to completely run the show for the sole benefit of its shareholders and self serving bonus ridden management. What is truly amazing, and downright sad, is to find Richie Kessel as Chairman of NYPA which completely defies all logic and basic business sense. We as a society can longer afford to allow Political Hacks to rule the basic needs of providing energy.

  4. OldLemming Says:

    Just watched the public video of last nypa trustees meeting on the nypa website – so pathetic. Constant closeups of Dyson trying to look interested; Kessel bloviating; Quinones providing clueless and tiresome non-answers to trustee questions about not replacing the loss of experienced people; Trustees authorizing millions for long term projects with superficial questioning. Mostly par for the NYPA course.

    Mr. Marlin, the ridiculous overspending for luncheons, meetings, etc. are only the tip of the iceberg. An iceberg that the trustees authorized Kessel to have delivered from his favorite Eskimo take-out joint in Alaska (and probably owned by a neighbor in Long Island).

  5. HungryToo Says:

    Hey Richie get me a pastrami on rye with a Dr Brown’s cream soda and bill it to NYPA.

  6. Gov'tMule Says:

    Why are Kessel and his staff members permitted to squander money on luncheon and dinner events that have nothing to do with NYPA’s mission?

    They look out for each other. It’s what they were taught. It’s what got us to where we are and is what will be left after everything is said and done. More Kessels….

  7. used and abused Says:

    It’s fairly obvious by now that Kessel either has some dirt on someone or the governor wants him at NYPA for some no good reason. I truly thought Dyson was appointed to clean up NYPA and get us back on course but like everyone except senior management I’m very disappointed. Time to take my decades of experience and leave. I urge the rest of the staff to do the same.

  8. SpeechlessinWPO Says:

    Marlin you have good information. They did bring in lunch from the Carnegie Deli for last week’s Executive Management Committee meeting in White Plains, with a NYPA staff member driving the food up from the City. I’m still trying to get the cost, but the sandwiches were huge and massive amounts were left over. At the Carnegie Deli, the “Woody Allen” with lotsa corned beef and lotsa pastrami costs $18.95.

    On at least one previous occasion, lunch for an Executive Management Committee meeting came from Richie’s favorite Chinese restaurant on Long Island, with Frank Ryan, the Emergency Management VP and labor negotiation chief, reportedly assigned to pick up the order and drive it to WPO. I guess it was a food emergency. The Carnegie apparently had been used twice in the past, both times for Trustees meetings. For the December 2010 meeting in New York City, the bill was $309.40. In January 2011, when the meeting was in White Plains, the bill was $589. The cost difference reflects the larger attendance in White Plains. I guess there are no acceptable delis in Westchester able to handle the appetites of this hungry crew.

    Last week’s Carnegie order, in and of itself, should be of interest to those investigating Kessel. Beyond the immediate incident, they might want to FOIL the records of food expenditures for all EMC meetings from January 2009 to the present. And check the use of NYPA EZ-Passes for the deli runs.

  9. hungryatNYPA Says:

    while kessel and his people are eating high on the proverbial hog, the rest of us at NYPA are starving. Our facilities are starved of capital. Our people are starved of leadership. Our future is starved of hope. Time for Richie to move on.


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