Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Little light is shed on Kessel shift

Newsday Business

"On the eve of a possible regime change at LIPA under Gov.-elect Eliot Spitzer, the utility disclosed yesterday that chairman Richard Kessel resigned his chief executive and president posts - 10 months ago - without formally announcing it to ratepayers. Oddly, the Long Island Power Authority Web site listed him serving as chief executive as recently as Friday. The site was updated that day to list only his role as chairman, in which he continues."

"The disclosure is significant because LIPA, like other state authorities, was ordered to separate the chairman and chief executive roles under reform legislation passed last year and signed into law by Gov. George Pataki in January. A Jan. 18 resignation date puts LIPA and Kessel in compliance with the law. While LIPA trustees are not paid, Kessel as chairman has continued to draw the $165,000 salary he previously received as chairman and chief executive. "

"LIPA spokesman Bert Cunningham said Pataki's office designated Kessel's chairman role as a paid position in 1997. He said LIPA has also received an outside legal opinion that the post is a paid one, and noted that Kessel is a full-time active executive while trustees are not. "

"The disclosure comes as Spitzer's team works to fill numerous positions around the state, and is considered all but certain to fill the LIPA chief executive role from the outside. Among those rumored to be up for consideration: Kevin Law, deputy chief to Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy"

my guess....Richie stays on........stay tuned...........andy

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