The president of a company that laid track for the Sound Transit light-rail line to the airport lied about the quality of steel he used, according to federal prosecutors. David Appleby, President of Appleby NW, Inc, a steel fabricator and subcontractor with Sound Transit, was sentenced today to one year of probation, a $20,000 fine, and $30,523 in restitution after pleading guilty to making and using false documents, a felony, in March of 2009. The steel used by Appleby's company was used in the footing of the four-mile elevated stretch of light rail track in Tukwila.

Appleby, 52, fabricated not only steel, but 36 reports to Sound Transit concerning the strength of steel casings for Sound Transit Light Rail tracks between May 2005 and November 2006, according to a statement from the US Department of Justice. Appleby NW's contract with Sound Transit specified that steel casings provided by the company must use Grade 50 steel; Appleby ordered Grade 36 steel and subsequently altered reports before sending them to Sound Transit to make the steel seem to fit contract specifications, prosecutors say.

Assistant United States Attorney Carl Blackstone wrote in his sentencing memo that "the defendant wrongly assumed that if he told the truth, this would unnecessarily delay the light rail construction. The defendant believed that the resulting economic fallout from such a delay outweighed the need to be truthful."