|J. Davitt McAteer|
The affidavit identifies the university as the institution in Wheeling that was founded in 1954 between the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and the Society of Jesus of the Maryland Province.
Wheeling Jesuit University recounts its history the same way on its Web site. At least twice, the affidavit said, witnesses interviewed for the investigation warned both Mr. McAteer and the school that they were breaking the law. A consulting firm hired in 2008 also made similar warnings, the document said. "We will slowly work on making this right, but we can't afford to do it at this time," Mr. McAteer is said to have told top university officials in response to the consulting firm's conclusion,
according to the affidavit. Documents the agent obtained indicate the school's board of directors deliberately circumvented federal spending rules "for the purpose of sustaining...its general, non-federal program educational areas." Mr. McAteer also is director of its National Technology Transfer Center and its Erma Ora Byrd Center for Education Technologies, which is named for the wife of the late longtime U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd. The technology transfer center does work on mine safety and health, missile defense, health technology and small business partnerships. The Center for Educational Technologies has housed the NASA-sponsored "Classroom of the Future" program since 1990.
The space agency began construction of the center in 1993 and later helped build the educational technologies center. Between fiscal years 2000 and 2009, NASA gave Wheeling Jesuit more than $116 million, more than $65 million of that after Mr. J Davitt McAteer took over the school's Sponsored Programs Office in 2005.
A finance manager in that office told the investigator that Mr. McAteer created the Combined Cost Management Service Center when he took over. Merging the billing of the two centers allowed him "to control and consolidate all the expenses, regardless of whether such expenses were related to the federal awards." The affidavit calls the handling of federal dollars at Wheeling Jesuit "arbitrary and fraudulent," and cites a 2007 incident in which the Missile Defense Agency "expressed outrage" that Mr. McAteer and others weren't working on the agency's program but were still billing 6 percent of the center's expenses to the grant.