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InfoComm Chair Resigns After Bribery Plea

Jay Armand, president of Advanced AV in West Chester, Pa., has resigned from his post as Chairman of InfoComm International's Board of Governors, PRO AV has learned. Armand pleaded guilty last month to attempting to bribe a construction manager for work on a job at Princeton University.

Jay Armand, president of Advanced AV in West Chester, Pa., has resigned from his post as Chairman of InfoComm International's Board of Governors, PRO AV has learned. Armand pleaded guilty last month to attempting to bribe a construction manager for work on a job at Princeton University.

Armand's resignation is effective July 29, 2008. Board President Mark Valenti of The Sextant Group will assume his responsibilities.

In a statement to PRO AV last night, InfoComm officials said, "Jay Armand has resigned his position of Chairman of the InfoComm Board. His resignation has been accepted and the InfoComm Executive Committee asked Mark Valenti to assume the chairmanship in addition to his duties as president of the association. With this change, and the efforts of the board and staff, the day-to-day operations of InfoComm will not be affected."

Armand's resignation comes after pleading guilty to bribery charges stemming from a 2005 meeting with a construction manager working for Skanska USA. According to reports, Armand agreed to about $10,000 in cash payments in exchange for the construction manager's help in securing contracts and change orders at Princeton's new Lewis Science Library.

Caroline Bucquet, Skanska's corporate communications director, declined comment on the situation, deferring to a statement. "Skanska was notified under the Victim Notification program by the New Jersey United States Attorney's Office that unauthorized payments were made to a single Skanska employee during the 2004-2005 timeframe. The U.S. Attorney's Office has not disclosed to Skanska the identity of the construction project on which this conduct occurred nor have they advised us of the name of the Skanska employee involved. They did advise us that the person no longer works for the company. This was an isolated incident involving one individual. Skanska takes this situation very seriously and has zero tolerance for any behavior by its employees that violates the law and our Code of Conduct."

Sources close to Armand confirmed to PRO AV that the Skanska manager was wearing a wire in conjunction with a larger federal investigation and recorded the conversation with Armand.

Lisa A. Mathewson, a partner with the law firm of Welsh & Recker in Philadelphia, is Armand's attorney in the case. She says she has been in contact with her client regarding his future plans, but has not released a statement about his resignation. About Armand's plea, Mathewson told DailyLocal.com, "Mr. Armand accepts responsibility for his actions and emphasizes that it's not emblematic of the way he does business. This is part of a much larger situation."

[Note: To comment on this story, please visit the PRO AV blog section.]



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