Still No Resolution Of McAteer Case After Year

WHEELING – It’s been one year since authorities revealed they are investigating how an international mine-safety expert handled federal dollars while working at Wheeling Jesuit University.

But as of Wednesday, no charges had been filed and university officials said there have been no further developments in the case.

J. Davitt McAteer, former chief executive officer of the university’s Center for Educational Technologies and the National Technology Transfer Center and former director of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration, was the focus of the investigation. A NASA investigator alleged fraudulently billed expenses to federal grant programs or cooperative agreements between WJU and the federal government from 2005 through 2011. The NASA official’s statement cited spending that included cellular phones, computers, technical support and salaries including a secretary in McAteer’s private law office in Shepherdstown, W.Va. McAteer’s salary, which increased from $130,300 in 2006 to $230,659 in 2008, was also cited.

Between fiscal 2000 and 2009, NASA gave Wheeling Jesuit more than $116 million – more than $65 million of that after McAteer took over the school’s Sponsored Programs Office.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Wheeling and a lawyer for McAteer both declined to comment on the investigation.

McAteer retired from his post in June, a decision Wheeling Jesuit said was planned long before revelations of a probe.

In April, WJU stated in a press release that a 2008 independent examination commissioned by the university’s Audit Committee concluded the university’s cost-allocation method to be permissible under federal regulations and found no improprieties.