WHEELING -- A former employee is suing Wheeling Jesuit University and its acting interim president after she claims she was unlawfully terminated from her employment.

Catherine Smith worked for Wheeling Jesuit University for approximately 15 years and was the manager of finance for university-sponsored programs, according to a complaint filed Dec. 18 in Ohio Circuit Court.

Smith claims she discovered federal grant funds were being misused, including the classification of direct and indirect costs, direct payment of salaries without proper time and effort certification and payment of rent for John Davitt McAteer's personal law office She claims she promptly reported the information to her supervisor, McAteer and others.

Prior to her report, Smith claims McAteer used inappropriate language that was verbally abusive, vulgar and sexual in nature. She claims after the report, McAteer responded by creating a hostile work environment.

Smith counseled an employee regarding the employee's substandard job performance, after which the employee reported to the university that Smith was harassing her, according to the suit. Smith's employment was immediately terminated.

Smith is seeking punitive damages. She is being represented by William A. Kolibash and Richard N. Beaver.

Ohio Circuit Court case number: 09-C-0439

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