Tewhey Had Affair with AdministratorBy Hyun Soo Kim
Associate News Editor
In his remaining days as associate dean for student affairs, James R. Tewhey was barred by a restraining order from contact with an MIT administrator with whom he had had an affair.
According to court documents, both Tewhey, 44, and Katherine M. Nolan, 43, associate director of student financial aid, admitted to an 18-month relationship which ended in July 1992. Each now claims that the other engaged in harassment upon the conclusion of the relationship. Both parties were ordered by district courts to avoid contact with one another.
Nolan was granted a restraining order in Newton District Court on April 9, barring Tewhey from coming within 50 yards. In her request, she said she feared "imminent serious physical harm," noting "at least 25 ... episodes in which he followed me, placing me in fear." On April 16, the order was extended through Oct. 19, but the distance was amended to 5 yards.
In one incident described in the affidavit, Tewhey appeared from a remote side street in Cambridge as she was leaving work in her car the evening of April 6. He pulled his vehicle very close to the right side of her car while waiting for a traffic signal. Nolan said that at this point, the encounter violated Feb. 22 Campus Police cease and desist orders forbidding contact between the two of them.
She continued: "I took a left hand turn through the red light to avoid him, and he followed taking a left turn from the right lane until I pulled over in proximity of an MIT Campus Police station." She added that similar behavior occurred since September 1992.
The affidavit also describes another incident that allegedly took place Oct. 26, 1992: "He parked so close to me in my prior parking lot that I could barely wedge in my driver's door, immediately locking it to turn around and find him approaching my car."
She also said that on Dec. 18, 1992, Tewhey waited in the parking lot and approached her as she entered her car. "He admitted he was timing his departure to run into me and talk and see me. He also stated he was so madly in love with me that he lived his life from one moment he saw me to the next," she wrote in the affidavit.
The restraining order also bars Tewhey from contacting Nolan's daughter, Lindsay, 9, contacting Nolan by telephone or electronic mail, or going to Nolan's Newton residence or her workplace in the Student Financial Aid Office. Incidental contact at MIT would not violate the restraining order.
Tewhey obtains second order
Tewhey also obtained a 12-day restraining order from Cambridge District Court April 9, barring Nolan from contact with him and his family. In the affidavit, he alleged Nolan made threatening phone calls to his wife and mother. Nolan called his wife "to threaten to go to her place of business and attempt to persuade her to leave me," the affidavit says.
"In the call to my wife she said she would get me fired from my job and said I was a `sick and delusioned person,' " Tewhey wrote in the affidavit.
According to Tewhey, Nolan also called his mother to obtain information about personal friends. Tewhey added that his mother felt harassed by Nolan's call.
According to Tewhey's affidavit, Nolan met with his supervisor to try to get Tewhey fired and has continued to make "false and damaging accusations." Nolan also allegedly called two of his neighbors to make similar accusations.
"Based on my knowledge of her and her recent actions, I am concerned for my safety and the safety of my family," the affidavit says.
His restraining order required Nolan to stay 100 yards away at all times and to stay away from his family and his Sudbury residence.
Extension turned down
Tewhey attempted to receive an extension of his restraining order in a hearing yesterday morning. His request was denied.
"My guess is that the judge made a decision that the conduct of Nolan was not what would put Tewhey in imminent fear of physical harm," said Robert Lucas, Tewhey's attorney.
A source said Eliot S. Levitt, staff associate in the residence and campus activities office, and Neal H. Dorow, advisor to fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups, appeared at the hearing to testify on Tewhey's behalf.
Lucas said Nolan's allegations of stalking were not consistent with Tewhey's testimony at the hearing. Tewhey testified about Nolan's calls and other harassment.
Nolan's attorney, Tony Doniger, called Tewhey's restraining order a retaliatory tactic. "One party gets a harassment accusation, the other party does the same as a tactic," he said.
"Restraining orders are very widely granted," Lucas said. "There is no legal basis for the Campus Police's cease and desist orders. The Campus Police has no authority to tell people what to do or what not to do."
Both Tewhey and Nolan did not respond to repeated telephone calls.
(Editor's note: Josh Hartmann and Garlen Leung contributed to the reporting of this story.)