Embattled Oral Roberts University president Richard Roberts has been accused of misusing ORU and Oral Roberts Ministries funds and resources, including illegal involvement in a local political campaign and lavish spending at donors’ expense.

Accusations were detailed in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed Oct. 2 by three former ORU professors against the school and four administrators alleging wrongful termination and wrongful causing of one professor’s resignation. The professors said they lost their jobs because they turned over to administrators a report that alleged the Richard Roberts family extensively spent university money for personal uses.

The lawsuit includes allegations of a $39,000 shopping tab at one store for Richard Roberts’ wife, Lindsay, a $29,411 Bahamas senior trip on the university jet for one of Roberts’ daughters, a stable of horses for the Roberts children and numerous home remodeling projects.

In a recent interview with the AP, Richard and Lindsay Roberts denied wrongdoing. Richard Roberts has said the lawsuit amounted to “intimidation, blackmail and extortion.”

ORU board of regents’ chairman, George Pearsons, has said ORU’s board began investigating the allegations shortly before the lawsuit was filed. The board also hired an outside law firm and outside accountants to review the allegations and ORU’s finances. Richard Roberts has taken a paid leave of absence as ORU’s president until the matters are resolved. The board will decide what to do once it receives findings of the investigations. One decision will be whether Roberts will return to the presidency.

Tulsa World – ORU lawsuit

ORU President mired in scandal – MSNBC (5 Oct 2007)

US varsity chief asks for leave after alleged ‘improprieties’ (Straits Times, 18 Oct 2007)http://www.straitstimes.com/Latest+News/World/STIStory_168154.html

Roberts receives ‘No Confidence’ vote – mail.com (14 Nov 2007)

ORU President asks for second chance – mail.com (15 Nov 2007)