Cowboys Hired Ex-Con to Help Reinforce Facility

Sunday, May 24, 2009  |  Updated 4:45 PM CDT
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Microburst Destroys Cowboys Training Facility

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The Dallas Cowboys' indoor, tent-like practice facility collapsed May 2.

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Microburst Destroys Cowboys Training Facility

Firsthand accounts chronicle 64 mph winds that tore apart the Dallas Cowboys training facility at Valley Ranch during minicamp Saturday.
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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 the practice facility that collapsed May 2.

A Dallas Morning News investigation showed 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, who now runs his own consulting firm, said he is not involved in investigating the collapse of the giant tent-like facility, the newspaper reported Sunday. The collapse left one Cowboys employee with a broken neck and another with permanent paralysis.

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

Jacobs did not immediately return a call seeking comment on Sunday 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 written statement Saturday, 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 Saturday 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 Saturday that the summary was being corrected.

The summary says Galland joined forces with Jacobs in 2001, a year after he was released from federal prison. Nevada records say the two incorporated a business called JCSSD in 2003, while Galland was still on probation for his crimes.

He 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.

Galland told The News that he laid out a plan last year to add "a significant amount of steel" to the Cowboys facility's roof arches and wall framing, improving its ability to withstand pressure from wind, rain and other forces.

He came to Texas to consult with the Cowboys shortly after the team hired a Pennsylvania building-collapse expert named Charles Timbie to evaluate the practice facility's soundness.

Timbie, who has declined interview requests, previously concluded that design flaws brought down another of its big tents: a 6-week-old Philadelphia warehouse that caved in after a snowstorm in early 2003.

Neither JCI nor Summit had a Texas license when doing Cowboys work in 2008, the Texas Board of Professional Engineers said. Such a license is generally but not always required.

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