BOSTON – Questions have arisen about the legitimacy of some claims on the resume of the former Big Dig safety official who said he wrote a memo in 1999 warning of the potential for a tunnel ceiling collapse — a memo the contractor says is fake.
The Boston Herald reported Wednesday that military officials in John J. Keaveney's native Ireland and officials at the University of Galway could not verify credentials he listed on the resume submitted to his former Big Dig employer, Modern Continental Construction Co.
Keaveney's memo first became public after it was mailed anonymously to The Boston Globe. It claimed Keaveney had warned his bosses he was concerned about the safety of the tunnel ceiling where Milena Del Valle, 39, of Boston, was crushed by falling concrete last month.
Modern Continental said it has no record of the memo and believes it was fabricated. It cited discrepancies in dates and noted that work referenced by Keaveney in the tunnel had not started yet by the date on the memo. Keaveney later admitted he sent the memo but maintained it was authentic.
Keaveney claims on his resume that he served as a lieutenant first class in the Irish Defense Forces between 1979 and 1986. He also said he was a member of United Nations missions in Lebanon, Cyprus, Angola, Iran and Iraq. He misspelled Cyprus as "Cypress" on his resume.
An official at the United Nations in charge of the Irish militarys missions confirmed Ireland sent forces to aid the United Nations in the countries listed by Keaveney, but a spokesman for the Irish Defense Force wrote in an e-mail to the Herald he could not document Keaveneys involvement. "We have no service records for a Lt. John J. Keaveney," wrote the spokesman, Capt. Fergal Costello.
In addition, officials at the University of Galway, Ireland, have said they could not verify that Keaveney, 43, was ever a student at the school. On his resume, he claims he obtained a business degree in 1984. He told The Boston Globe he had an engineering degree from the college.
"We have no record of a John J. Keaveney having attended NUI, Galway," an admissions official, Geraldine Gannon, wrote in an e-mail to the Herald.
Keaveney has hired former U.S. attorney Robert Peabody, a specialist in defending people accused of white collar crimes and public corruption. Peabody would not comment on the questions on Keaveney's resume.
"These matters of military service and education are private matters relating to Mr. Keaveney," he said.