Feds Investigate Wheeling Jesuit Research Programs, Seize Records

By Philip Stahl
February 29, 2012

[with video]

WHEELING, W.Va. -- Wheeling Jesuit University officials said they're cooperating with federal investigators who seized records from the offices of the vice president for federally sponsored programs.

Spokeswoman Michele Rejonis said files were seized on Feb. 15 from J. Davitt McAteer's offices. Inspector generals from a federal agency confiscated numerous files regarding federal grant money, but Rejonis said she is not sure which federal agency was involved.

Wheeling Jesuit has many federally sponsored programs, including collaborations with NASA and a center that helps commercialize new technologies.

NEWS9 put in several calls to some of the federal agencies who have provided grants to Wheeling Jesuit, such as NASA. NASA's inspector general's office in Washington, D.C., referred NEWS9 to the U.S. Attorney's office in Wheeling, and officials there declined comment.

University officials told NEWS9 they have no comment either, because the investigation is ongoing and they can't provide any additional information. McAteer's secretary also told The Associated Press that he would not comment.

McAteer is also director of its National Technology Transfer Center and the Erma Ora Byrd Center for Education Technologies.

He is a former director of the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and a vocal critic of the mining industry. He also led the independent teams that investigated the Sago and Upper Big Branch mine disasters.


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