Ex-con Advised Cowboys On Structure That Collapsed

May 26, 2009

The Dallas Cowboys used advice from a man who falsified his educational credentials and served federal prison time for drug trafficking to make major structural reinforcements to a practice facility whose collapse injured a dozen people.

The Dallas Morning News reported that the consultant, Jeffrey Lawrence Galland, was engineering director of a Las Vegas company called JCI even though he had no engineering license. Galland acknowledged the newspaper’s findings, but said his background had no bearing on his ability to help clients.

Galland, 42, said JCI president Scott Jacobs, who is a licensed engineer, supervised his Cowboys work.

Jacobs did not immediately return a call seeking comment by The Associated Press.

His company has teamed up extensively in recent years with Canada-based Summit Structures, which built the Cowboys facility in 2003 and oversaw last year’s reinforcements.

“It is Summit’s belief that all employees who worked on this project were qualified to perform the task he or she performed” and were properly licensed, Summit president Nathan Stobbe said in a statement, the newspaper reported.

The Cowboys declined to comment.

Galland provided a written summary of his credentials that says he has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Eastern Washington University. The school said he pursued that degree but never graduated.

The summary also says he has been working toward a master’s degree in structural engineering at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. School records show no sign he ever attended, officials said.

Galland said that he completed all required credits for the physics degree but did not receive it after Eastern Washington officials wanted him to take a class that “I felt was unnecessary.”

An aide said that the summary was being corrected.

Galland was arrested in 1994 after breaking into a home and pointing a gun at a woman in Great Falls, Mont., police there said. Charges included burglary and assault.

The following year, Galland was convicted of burglary in state court and sentenced to probation. Then he pleaded guilty in federal court to using a firearm during a violent crime and conspiring to distribute cocaine and marijuana, court records show.

The Cowboys’ tentlike practice facility came crashing down in fierce winds May 2, permanently paralyzing scouting assistant Rich Behm.

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