MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Federal investigators are examining whether Wheeling Jesuit University and vice president J. Davitt McAteer illegally diverted federal funds between 2005 and 2011 by fraudulently billing expenses under grant programs or cooperative agreements, court documents show.
U.S. Magistrate James Seibert on Thursday renewed an order sealing search warrants, affidavits supporting those warrants and other documents in the case for another 60 days. "There is good cause," he wrote, "to continue sealing such paperwork."
But motions by both parties on whether to unseal them reveal information about the focus of the probe.
They 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 the university'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.
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," said school spokeswoman Michelle Rejonis, adding that she hasn't seen the court records and could not comment on them. "As information becomes available to us, we will gather information and work from there."
In February, she said the investigation does not affect Pell Grants or other federal assistance to its 1,500 students.