Report: Ex-con advised on Dallas facility

A consultant who helped the Dallas Cowboys with upgrades last year to their collapsed practice facility served time in a federal prison for his actions while connected to a violent drug-trafficking ring, The Dallas Morning News has reported.

Jeffrey Lawrence Galland, the former engineering director of JCI, a Las Vegas-based company, pleaded guilty to using a firearm during a violent crime, and conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, according to court records, the newspaper reported.

Records detailed Galland, 42, as a part of a group that smuggled drugs from Washington state to Montana, the newspaper report said. Galland and an accomplice once used a shotgun and semiautomatic rifle in an attempt at collecting a drug debt, according to the paper.

He was sentenced to 4½ years in prison and four years of probation. He was released from federal prison in 2000.

Court records show he also was arrested in 1994 and charged with burglary and assault after he broke into a home and pointed a gun at a woman in Great Falls, Mont., police there said, according to the newspaper. He was convicted of burglary and received probation in 1995.

Galland acknowledged his troubled background, and his lack of an engineering license, to The Morning News but said it "had no bearing on his ability to help clients."

The collapse of the Cowboys' facility in heavy winds three weeks ago left 12 people injured, including a 33-year-old team staff member who is paralyzed from the waist down. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation into the incident.

Galland also falsified educational credentials he provided The Morning News, the paper said. Galland showed a résumé that said he received a bachelor's degree in physics from Eastern Washington University. The school, however, told the newspaper he completed coursework toward that degree but never graduated.

The résumé also says he has taken classes for a master's degree in structural engineering at UNLV, the report said. Records show he never attended the school, UNLV officials told the newspaper.

JCI and Canada-based Summit Structures, which built the Cowboys' practice facility in 2003 and supervised last year's upgrades, have worked in tandem extensively in recent years, the report said. Galland's work for the Cowboys was done under the supervision of JCI president Scott Jacobs, a licensed engineer, according to the report. Jacobs did not respond to interview requests from the newspaper.

The Cowboys declined to comment to the Dallas newspaper. Summit Structures said privacy laws in Canada precluded discussing employees involved in the work.

"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, company president Nathan Stobbe said in a written statement to The Morning News on Saturday.

"We remain confident in the soundness, strength and durability of Summit Structures' permanent, steel-framed, engineered fabric buildings -- of which more than 30,000 similar buildings are in use worldwide. We intend to thoroughly research every aspect of this event as a part of the diligence that we put into everything we do."

Galland's plan for the facility included adding "a significant amount of steel" to roof arches and wall framing, the report said. Galland said he sought to to improve "its ability to withstand pressure from wind, rain and other forces."

Summit Structures mostly followed the plan, Galland told the paper.

"There were some things that weren't done that we hoped would be done," he said, declining to elaborate.

Galland said the upgrade was warranty work and Summit Structures didn't want to pay for some of the suggested improvements.

Galland said in an e-mail to The Morning News on Saturday that many of his clients know of his criminal history.

"It does not affect my ability to deliver the services they require," he said. "However, it is not something I am proud of."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.