WSU files countersuit against fired administrator

Wright State University filed a countersuit this week against fired administrator Ryan Fendley, claiming that he hid his involvement in a potentially criminal temporary work visa scheme when he became a consultant for the university’s research arm.

“(Wright State Applied Research Corporation) would not have entered into the consulting agreement if WSARC had known of Mr. Fendley’s actions involving WSU’s H-1B visa program,” says the filing, which seeks $55,600 in damages.

This is WSU's answer to a $32,583 suit brought by Fendley last month — which WSU calls frivolous. Fendley's suit claims that the university failed to pay him under a consulting contract he had with WSARC at the same time he was senior advisor to the provost.

Fendley also has a pending wrongful termination lawsuit in state court seeking $249,000.

Fendley was fired in August amid an ongoing federal investigation into the university's H-1B visa temporary work program. The university's former general counsel resigned during the investigation, and its former provost and a researcher were demoted and have been on paid leave since May.

The university’s filing says Fendley drafted the contract between himself and WSARC shortly before he was promoted from WSARC CEO to university provost advisor. The contract was signed by his replacement, Dennis Andersh, after Fendley’s promotion in May 2014. It paid him $5,000 a month to bring Andersh up to speed in the job.

WSARC paid him $51,700 in consulting fees under the contract while his university salary was $169,146.

The university claims it stopped paying Fendley because he stopped performing work on the contract when he was suspended in May 2015.

“The counterclaims are entirely baseless,” said Ted Copetas, Fendley’s attorney, when reached for comment Friday.