New ORU Charges Filed

ORU professors have filed an updated amended complaint in Tulsa District Court Friday, adding a count of negligence against the ORU Board of Regents, saying the Board has "exhibited a consistent pattern of negligence regarding its fiduciary and oversight duties to authorize and supervise" citing several instances of supervisory neglect, including the charge, that only 3 days after their lawsuit was filed, "the Board allowed Defendant Roberts to terminate ORU's financial comptroller - who had 26 years of service -- allowing voluminous materials and documents to be shredded and destroyed" constituting the spoilation of evidence, the lawsuit states.

The complaint also includes additional factual citations such as the University jet plane - a Hawker Siddeley HS125 Series 700A was rented in 2003 for five years, to the tune of $1,809,185 dollars.

Now, why couldn't Ambassador get a 'great deal' like that one? Such a steal!

Richard Roberts was paid $181,469 by ORU; more than $100,000 as VP of City Plex; and $41,530 by the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association; with other yet unverified income sources, the lawsuit alleges. (See Exhibit A, pg. 14).

Oral Roberts, father of Richard Roberts, visited and toured the Ambassador College Pasadena campus with his business manager in the early 1960s. It is plausible that he patterned the future ORU partly off this AC visit. He incorporated ORU in 1963, admitting the first students in 1965. In 1971 ORU applied for and became accredited. The hospital, medical school and law school later built were closed down by 1989.

Regardless of how much Oral patterned his ORU after Ambassador, Richard appears to be taking his plays right out of the WCG Pastor General's playbook.

Read additional details here:
View Second Amended Complaint


Scandal Rocks Oral Roberts University

There's trouble brewing up at Oral Roberts University - just 100 miles east of AC - down I-44, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. No, God isn't "calling him home" unless Oral raises at least eight million dollars. Three former ORU professors – Dr. John Swails, Dr. Tim Brooker and Dr. Paulita Brooker -- filed a lawsuit October 3rd in Tulsa District Court against ORU; son Richard Roberts, now ORU university president and evangelist; and three university administrators.

ORU president Richard Roberts is accused of coercing Professor Tim Brooker in 2005 to assign students and use university resources to work on a local Tulsa politician's election bid, Tulsa County Commissioner Randi Miller, in her bid for city mayor. That would be a violation of state and federal law, since ORU is a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt, nonprofit church organization.

In January 2006, Roberts publicly announced that he was backing Miller for Tulsa mayor. Prof. Brooker said, "I was told to get my students and get down there and help Randi Miller." "We were told, 'Use whatever resources are at your disposal,' " Forty to 50 students worked on the campaign. The lawsuit alleges that Richard Roberts and ORU administrators intentionally participated in a cover up conspiracy to thwart an Internal Revenue Service investigation looking into partisan political activity by ORU. The lawsuit contends ORU gave incomplete, or at the very minimum, intentionally misleading responses to written IRS interrogatories. The plaintiffs allege they were wrongfully terminated, constructively discharged, or forced to resign subsequent to the IRS investigation; and fired in retaliation for forwarding evidence of other ministry financial wrongdoing to the ORU supervisory board of regents.

The lawsuit includes a summary of a report allegedly developed by Richard Roberts' sister-in-law, Stephanie Cantese, that claims the Roberts family used ORU and Oral Roberts Ministries money for personal expenses. Cantese works for Oral Roberts Ministries.

The lawsuit charges:

-ORU's corporate jet was used to take one daughter and several friends on a senior trip to Orlando, Fla., and the Bahamas. The $29,411 plane trip was billed to the ministry as an "evangelistic function of the president."

-Richard and Lindsay Roberts' home
has been remodeled eleven times in the past fourteen years. (Ed: At least third tithe wasn't used for the remodeling!)

-A longtime maintenance employee was fired so that an underage male friend of Lindsay Roberts could have his position.

- Lindsay Roberts - who is a member of the board of regents and is billed as ORU's "first lady" on the university's Web site - frequently had cell-phone bills of more than $800 per month, with hundreds of text messages sent between 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. to "underage males who had been provided phones at university expense."

-Lindsay Roberts spent more than $39,000 at one Chico's clothing store alone in less than a year, and had other accounts in Texas and California. She also repeatedly said, "As long as I wear it once on TV, we can charge it off." The document cites inconsistencies in clothing purchases and actual usage on TV.

Lindsay Roberts was given an white Lexus SUV and a red Mercedes convertible, insurance paid by ministry donors.

-University and ministry employees are regularly summoned to the Roberts' home to do the daughters' homework.

-The university and ministry maintain a stable of horses for exclusive use by the Roberts' children.

One of Richard and Lindsay Roberts' children vandalized and removed athletic department equipment from ORU property.

-Lindsay Roberts routinely uses ministries security personnel during personal vacations.

-Lindsay Roberts awarded 13 non-need-based scholarships to friends of her children, two of whom had test scores below ORU's admission requirement; and more.

-The summary of the report in the lawsuit says ORU provides Roberts with housing and claims ORU also provides 13 Internet/cable connections, wide-screen televisions, hot tubs, a $15,000 stove;

-Other alleged expenses include remodeling of dorm rooms for Roberts' daughters, $51,206 worth of clothes, phone bills, a soda machine exclusively for the family, meals, airplane trips, vehicle rentals, and more, according to the lawsuit.

Dr. Tim Brooker said that days after the professors gave the report to administrators, Cantees called him and threatened that his wife would lose her job and his son would not graduate from ORU. His wife, Dr. Paulita Brooker, was fired, and department chair Dr. Swails.

Richard Roberts, son of university founder Oral Roberts, said he pays for his family's personal expenses, contrary to allegations in the lawsuit. Roberts issued a written statement outlining strict current accountability measures for ORU and Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association finances. The Roberts family's expenses related to ORU or the association are charged to those organizations, and the family's personal expenses are charged to Roberts, the statement says. "Any expenses, including trips, errands, food, etc., deemed personal are charged back to me and are paid personally by me on a monthly basis," Roberts said in the statement. An "independent audit firm reviews financial transactions and controlling procedures" and produces an annual report, according to Roberts' statement. Outside auditors also write an annual report on the compensation of administrators and their relatives. The board's and association trustees' audit and compliance committee receives the reports.

Not to worry, though ;-) Oral Roberts, 81 and presently residing in Newport Beach, California, may be getting ORU 'back on track' this time. Roberts routinely visits his father in Newport Beach and bills the costs of the trip to the university. Televangelist John Hagee, a ORU board of regents member, said the university's executive board presently "is conducting a full and thorough investigation." How comforting. On the flip side of the coin, however, the court filing quoted Richard Roberts as saying "if a Regent appears to give me trouble, I stack the deck..."