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Details Emerge on InfoComm Chair's Bribery Plea

Jay Armand, chairman of the InfoComm Board of Governors and president of Advanced AV in West Chester, Pa., pleaded guilty last month...

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Jay Armand, chairman of the InfoComm Board of Governors and president of Advanced AV in West Chester, Pa., pleaded guilty last month for agreeing, along with four others, to bribe a construction manager in 2005 in an effort to gain work on a building at Princeton University (PRO AV columnist Kris Vollrath works for Advanced AV but is not connected to the situation and runs a separate division of the company).

Earlier in the week, Armand spoke to Gary Kayye, CTS, confirming his plea and stating, "But any such activities are not reflective of my company and the way we do and have done business, nor is it reflective of this fine industry we are in."

Initial reports of the plea, which surfaced at the beginning of July, were murky when it came to details about Armand's role, except to indicate that it was part of a much bigger corruption investigation and that the bribe, according to court documents, was about $10,000.

But yesterday, a fresh news report indicated that, based on quotes from Armand's lawyer Lisa Mathewson to DailyLocal.com, no money ever changed hands between Armand and the yet-unnamed construction manager (unnamed so far because he/she has not been charged with any crime). Moreover, according to the lawyer, Advanced AV never performed work on the project, the unconsummated bribe was initiated by the construction manager and not Armand, and the construction manager was wearing a wire at the time.

Notably, according to the court documents, the bribe was for contracts as well as the approval of change orders, which can be lucrative for AV integrators.

Armand's sentencing is scheduled for September. It's unclear how his role with InfoComm and Advanced AV will be affected. PRO AV is pursuing those questions and others and will report on them soon.



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