Bye bye, Richie
Richie Kessel -- who long used the New York Power Authority as his personal slush fund -- has finally been forced to step down.
Kessel, NYPA's CEO for nearly three years, announced his resignation at a trustees meeting yesterday.
We warned then-Gov. David Paterson against tapping him for the post -- and our concerns now seem well-justified: As a source close to a probe by state Inspector General Ellen Biben told Post State Editor Fredric U. Dicker, "It is clear that Kessel was improperly using ratepayer funds to ingratiate himself with some powerful friends."
No surprise, of course. When Gov. Cuomo announced Biben's probe in April, he cited "a series of irregularities" at the Long Island Power Authority, which Kessel headed, and also used as a slush fund, before moving to NYPA.
And for years, comptrollers, attorneys general, governors and others have been rapping his knuckles over his blatant abuse. Recently, ex-Port Authority head George Marlin documented numerous "donations" Kessel made to Long Island groups using NYPA cash, helping spur Biben's probe.
That's how Kessel has done business.
And he does have powerful friends -- like former New York Sen. Alfonse D'Amato and Nassau County GOP Chairman Joseph Mondello (Kessel's best man at his wedding).
No wonder he's headed LIPA and NYPA for so long.
Now some think he'll run for Nassau County exec. What a disaster that could turn out to be.
Better he should just fade away.
Why do we let this happen?