Richie Kessel, the controversial chief of the New York Power Authority, announced today that he's stepping down, effective the day after Labor Day.
In a speech to NYPA trustees that received warm applause, Mr. Kessel called himself an honorary upstate New Yorker, and said that the future of NYPA should focus on developing the Western New York and north country economy.
Mr. Kessel has come under fire for donations to groups that have nothing to do with power generation, prompting the John Dyson, a trustee appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to say he'd investigate. The New York Post's Fred Dicker reported yesterday that Mr. Kessel could be out within weeks. It took about 24 hours for Mr. Dicker's prediction to come true.
NYPA runs the St. Lawrence-FDR hydropower operation in Massena.
NYPA will launch a nationwide search for Mr. Kessel's replacement, trustees said at the board meeting today. Gil C. Quiniones, the chief operating officer of the authority, will take over as interim CEO while the board searches for a replacement.