By  on June 3, 2012

Rob Walton, chairman of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., was the first to address the issue of the recent bribery allegations at the retail giant’s Mexico division early on Friday at the company’s 2012 annual meeting.

Standing on the massive stage at the Bud Walton Arena at the University of Fayetteville, near a replica of his father Sam’s first five-and-10-cent store, he told the audience, “We’re taking allegations related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act very seriously. Months ago, we launched an investigation by outside counsel. The audit committee is using every resource necessary to ensure a thorough inquiry. We are also cooperating with the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission to find out what happened. We will take whatever measures necessary to strengthen FCPA compliance around the world. Acting with integrity is not negotiable. We will not tolerate violations of the FCPA or any wrongdoing of any kind.”

The scandal was spoken about again nearly three hours later at the end of the meeting when Wal-Mart Stores chief executive officer Mike Duke took the stage and ticked off the retailer’s accomplishments outside its stores, going “above and beyond to help people during times of crisis, such as Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Japan.”

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