VECO rank and file not affected, attorney says

Posted: Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Roughly half the 4,000 people employed by VECO Corp. worldwide work here in Alaska, and many are likely concerned by recent events that included the company’s CEO and a vice president pleading guilty to corruption charges on Monday, a company spokesperson said Tuesday.

“It is going to be true for any VECO employee who is looking closely at these events,” said Amy Menard, attorney for the company and currently its public spokesperson. “But these events being reported and giving rise to the legal cases are totally unrelated to operations in any location and have nothing to do with what hands (workers) for VECO do.”

She said that was an important message and that it would be “incorrect to interpret recent events as affecting those employees.”

The ongoing federal investigation is related to elected public officials, she said.

“The company made it clear to me that they are satisfied with the company and the cooperation provided,” Menard said. “The company is aware that issues under investigation are in no way associated with services VECO supplies to its business clients and customers.”

Menard said VECO is strong and there is no reason to believe it will have any impact on its clients. But for the work force, that may not be enough.

“There is no question when you have this much media attention focused, it can impact morale,” she said.

Menard went on to say that trying to predict what the long-term fallout might be — such as customers taking business elsewhere and thus necessitating layoffs — would be speculation at best.

“What I can tell you is that the company has no information to suggest that the business clients of VECO are going to look elsewhere. We are receiving complete support from those with whom VECO does business,” she said.

Menard also said the federal investigation continues and that she had received no indication of any move toward state charges.

Menard is an attorney on retainer, and while she acts as the company’s spokesperson, is not a VECO employee.

She said that while about 2,000 of VECO’s employees work in Alaska, she did not know how many of those work on the Kenai Peninsula.

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