Wheeling Jesuit and its vice president investigated by feds

Wheeling Jesuit University's Seal

Wheeling Jesuit University's Seal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Holy mackerel!  The guy who stood in for the peremptorily fired Jesuit president of Wheeling Jesuit U. in W. Va. in 2009, very big man on campus whose regular job there was to run or oversee federally funded programs involving millions of tax dollars, is being investigated by the federal government.

A federal investigation into J. Davitt McAteer and Wheeling Jesuit University appears to center on how the university handled federal funds between 2005 and 2011 — with an emphasis on how it billed expenses under grant programs or cooperative agreements, court documents indicate.

Documents by those seeking to unseal the warrants

show that NASA, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General and other agencies seized documents from McAteer’s offices in Wheeling and Shepherdstown on Feb. 16. McAteer, an attorney and former head of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, runs WJU’s Office of Sponsored Programs.

Investigators seized, copied and then returned records of expenses billed to federal programs and other records indicating how Wheeling Jesuit handled certain kinds of expenses through its Combined Cost Management Service Center.

Others are to be grilled and perhaps targeted:

The motions also say investigators are looking at current and former employees of Wheeling Jesuit, and some are expected to appear before a grand jury.

“We continue to cooperate with federal investigators,” WJU spokeswoman Michelle Rejonis said. “As information becomes available to us, we will gather information and work from there.”

The argument to unseal the warrants pits government wanting to marshal all relevant data before showing its hand (so far getting its way) vs. McAteer et al. protesting secrecy and its deleterious effects on his and the university’s reputation and ongoing performance by the funded university operations.

The fired Jesuit, Rev. Julio Giulietti, had finished two years at the Wheeling Jesuit helm.  His firing was followed by widespread alumni protests and coverage in two national publications , all of which was reported and discussed in this blog.  A search in this blog can uncover these reports and discussions.  Giulietti went on to work in Viet Nam as representative of Loyola University-Chicago in developing programs of nurse and physician education.

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