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November 21, 2007

Oral Roberts University accountant claims he was ordered to \”cook the books\”

Oral Roberts University accountant claims he was ordered to “cook the books”

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

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A former accountant for Oral Roberts University (ORU) has filed a lawsuit against ORU and its Board of Regents claiming he was told by Richard Roberts and his wife Lindsay to “cook the books“, hiding financial wrongdoing from authorities and the public. Trent Huddleston, the accountant, has filed suit against the school and the Robertses claiming he “was improperly and unlawfully directed to perform functions and duties in violation of state and federal law in an effort by the defendants to ‘cook the books’ and hide from the appropriate authorities and the public the continued wrongdoing, improper and illegal conduct of the defendants, and in particular, of Richard and Lindsay Roberts.”

Huddleston said that nearly $123,000 in remodeling fees for their home was paid by Oral Roberts University and Oral Roberts Ministries. In addition the lawsuit alleges $4,000 was spent on a pool table for the Robertses. Previously the Roberts were accused of illegal political and financial wrongdoing, which forced the president to step down from his positison.

Last week at a meeting called by Oral Roberts, founder of the University and former faith healer, a majority of the faculty voted against allowing Richard to serve as president.

An ORU spokesman declined to comment on latest lawsuit and the faculty meeting.

In other news, Tulsa World released emails between Richard and his political adviser and sister-in-law, Stephanie Cantees. The emails given by an anonymous source, show the two plan to gain political influence using ORU students.

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  • “Oral Roberts University president accused of illegal political donations and financial misappropriation” — Wikinews, October 5, 2007

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  • Wikisource-logo.svg Swails, Brooker, Brooker v. Oral Roberts University
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November 17, 2007

Oral Roberts calls \’emergency meeting\’

Oral Roberts calls ’emergency meeting’ – Wikinews, the free news source

Oral Roberts calls ’emergency meeting’

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

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Oral Roberts, founder and former faith healer, called an “emergency meeting” to reinstate Richard Roberts as president of Oral Roberts University. Richard stepped down last month when he was accused of illegal political contributions, financial wrong-doing, and wrongful firings in a lawsuit.

On Wednesday Oral called an ’emergency meeting’ for the faculty following the previous “no confidence” vote. At the recent meeting Oral asked for the faculty who were willing to forgive and start fresh to “stand up.” Donald Vance, a professor of Bible studies, said that when no one person at the meeting stood, Oral Roberts asked one of them, “‘Are you not ready to start over?'”

Vance reported, “The faculty member said, “I don’t know what that means, to start over.”

“‘I would think that would be obvious,'” Oral Roberts responded.

After that, Vance stated “No, Chancellor Roberts, it’s not clear, are you asking us to rescind our three motions?” Then Oral Roberts said that the faculty should drop it.

Following the meeting Provost Mark Lewandoswki wrote a letter to ORU Board of Regents promising to step down if Richard Roberts returns as president. Tulsa World reported that the atompshere at ORU is “divise” noting that when Regent chairman George Pearsons, took his position in May he said in an address to the board: “I am standing here today because the Lord clearly spoke to me and said, ‘Do whatever Richard Roberts asks you to do.'”

The school declined to comment on the meetings.

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November 9, 2007

Former Oral Roberts University Regent member speaks out

Former Oral Roberts University Regent member speaks out

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Harry McNevin, explained in a recent interview that he quit the Board of Regents at Oral Roberts University in disgust in 1987 after 16 years of service when he learned that Richard Roberts, Oral Roberts and other Roberts family dipped into the school’s endowment fund for personal expenses.

McNevin noted that he resigned after the board practically “rubber-stamped” the “use of millions in endowment money to buy a Beverly Hills property so that Oral Roberts could have a West Coast office and house.” In addition he said a country club membership was purchased for the home. The home was reported purchased for US$3 million and another $3.5 million was spent remodeling it.

The Associated Press also cited Patti Roberts, Richard’s first wife, who wrote in her 1983 memoir, “Ashes to Gold,” about expensive gifts including a blue Mercedes as a Christmas gift for Richard, a Jaguar for her, Italian suits and Palm Beach vacations. Suzanne Culpepper, the Roberts’ former nanny, said Lindsay (Richard’ second wife) and Richard spent money wildly. This included 275 pairs of shoes for Lindsay, 120 pairs of shoes (including 18 pairs of golf shoes) for Richard, 165 suits for Richard and other large amounts of clothing in their walk-in closest.

Previously the Roberts were accused of illegal political and financial wrongdoing, which forced the president to step down from his position.

A United States Senate committee is currently investigating six major ministries over their finances. Three of these ministries are headed by members of ORU’s Board of Regents.

Recently Tulsa World wrote that Oral Roberts University raised $8.8 million starting in 2001 for a new student center, but construction has begun and officials said “the school has used some of the money for scholarships and operations.” Tulsa World requested documents about the ORU student center, but the “university released details but not records about money raised for the center.”

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November 6, 2007

Senate committee investigating six televangelists

Senate committee investigating six televangelists

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

United States Senator Chuck Grassley.

United States Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, has asked for the financial records of six prominent televangelist ministries for possible financial misconduct, CBS News reported. The six groups were led by Paula White, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Kenneth Copeland and Benny Hinn. Half of these people (Hinn, Copeland and Dollar) are members of the Board of Regents for the Oral Roberts University, which is currently being accused of wrong-doing.



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October 27, 2007

Oral Roberts University attorneys seek gag order

Oral Roberts University attorneys seek gag order

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Attorneys for Oral Roberts University requested a gag order on court filings related to alleged illegal political and financial wrongdoing as well as wrongful firings. According to a court filing, ORU believes “their legal motion that publicity allegedly manipulated by the professors and their attorneys could lower the possibility of a fair trial. They want the professors and their attorneys barred from talking about the case outside of court.” Specifically, “The motion refers to a report allegedly compiled by Roberts’ sister-in-law, Stephanie Cantees, that Roberts has said consists of false rumors.”

Also on Friday, the ORU Regents hired the Washington, D.C. law firm of Miller & Chevalier Chartered to investigate ORU expenses and the Arlington, Texas accounting firm Pickens Snodgrass Koch & Company will support the investigation.

The controversy has forced ORU president Richard Roberts to step down as his father Oral Roberts returns to the school. ORU Board of Regents Chairman George Pearsons said the change was temporary and did not imply guilt.

Related news

  • “Oral Roberts University president accused of illegal political donations and financial misappropriation” — Wikinews, October 5, 2007

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  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Oral Roberts University
  • Wikisource-logo.svg Swails, Brooker, Brooker v. Oral Roberts University

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October 25, 2007

Oral Roberts University reportedly owes over $50 million

Oral Roberts University reportedly owes over $50 million

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

In the midst of accusations of wrongdoing, the Oral Roberts University (ORU) Board of Regents Chairman George Pearsons said the school owes over $55 million in debt. According to IRS records, ORU had about $76 million in revenue in 2005, and its operating budget for 2007-2008 was over $82 million. One former regent member said that the endowment approached $60 million at its peak, but a university spokesman said the current endowment exceeds $34 million.

In September Richard Roberts, who served as president since 1993, was accused of wrong-doing and stepped down temporarily last week. His father Oral Roberts returned to serve as a temporary president last week. On Monday night alumni, clergy from around the U.S., and the people fired held a rally at Morningstar Baptist Church asking for Richard to permantly resign. They say Robert’s temporary leave of absence “isn’t enough.”

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October 22, 2007

Oral Roberts returns to namesake university amid son\’s scandal

Oral Roberts returns to namesake university amid son’s scandal

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Former faith healer and televangelist Oral Roberts returned to Oral Roberts University (ORU) on October 22 as President. His son Richard Roberts, who served as president since 1993, stepped down last week amid allegations of illegal political and financial wrongdoing.

Oral said that all allegations made in the ORU lawsuit and an attached report are false and “said the university will begin mediation this week with the three former professors.” However according to Tulsa World, an attorney for the professors who sued ORU said, “Right now, we’re a bit disturbed about attempting any type of a settlement as long as they’re so adamant they haven’t done anything wrong,” and “We would prefer to move forward and develop the information and develop the case.”

On Monday night alumni, clergy from around the U.S., and the people fired held a rally at Morningstar Baptist Church asking for Richard to permantly resign. They say Robert’s temporary leave of absence “isn’t enough.”

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October 17, 2007

Richard Roberts takes leave of absence from Oral Roberts University

Richard Roberts takes leave of absence from Oral Roberts University

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Under fire for illegal political and financial wrongdoing, Oral Roberts University president Richard Roberts stepped down from his position and Billy Joe Daugherty was named acting-president. Richard and his wife, Lindsay Roberts, are also members of the ORU Board of Regents, and it is not mentioned if Richard and/or Lindsay stepped down from the board.

On October 12 the plaintiffs of the original lawsuit amended it adding the university’s Board of Regents, which includes George Pearsons, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Michael A. Hammer, John Hagee, Marilyn Hickey, Oral Roberts, Lindsay Roberts, Richard Roberts, Jerry Savelle and Charles Watson to the suit. ORU Board member Kenneth Copeland was Oral Roberts airplane pilot in the 1960s, and current Board chairman, George Pearsons, is married to Copeland’s oldest daughter.

The plaintiffs cited that three days after the original lawsuit was filed, Roberts fired the university’s financial comptroller (who had been employed by ORU for 26 years) and “witnesses have reported voluminous materials and documents were shredded and destroyed, constituting spoilation of evidence.” The lawsuit argued that the Regents were a party to the suit due to negligence in failing to handle the issue as well as allowed a convicted child molester “mentor” students.

Also ORU recently admitted to the press that the IRS had warned ORU against the illegal nature of ORU’s political activity. That political campaign is what the plaintiffs alleged caused the wrongful dismissal of Tim Brooker. While the university declined to offer the IRS’ letters, a spokes-person confirmed the IRS sent two letters in 2006 about the political involvement.

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October 14, 2007

More allegations filed against Oral Roberts University

More allegations filed against Oral Roberts University

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

On Friday three fired professors filed more charges in their lawsuit against Oral Roberts University, University president Richard Roberts, and his wife, Lindsay Roberts. In addition to previous allegations of illegal political contributions, financial wrong-doing, and wrongful firings, the plaintiffs also added the ORU Board of Regents (Lindsay and Richard are both members of the board) to the lawsuit claiming regents did not oversee the university and its president Richard Roberts. One example cited in the lawsuit was that ORU allowed a man with three convictions of sexual abuse, including “exposing himself to a 15-year-old boy in a school locker room,” to mentor ORU college students.

Also cited was that three days after the original lawsuit, Richard Roberts fired the ORU financial comptroller who had been with the school for 26 years and then proceeded to shred and destroy “voluminous materials and documents … constituting spoilation of evidence.”

In addition, the report attached to the lawsuit contained fresh allegations that Lindsay Roberts, 51, stayed overnight nine times with an “underage male” at a ORU “guest home”. This “underage male” moved in with Lindsay and prompted her daughters to have locks added to the doors on the home. The filing also said she was photographed alone with that boy after Tulsa curfew 29 times, and this includes a picture of her and the boy smoking at the ORU guest house.

Friday’s updated lawsuit also had an attachment of the document Stephanie Cantees, Lindsay’s sister, wrote which contained the original document that the plaintiffs claim spawned their dismissals. This contains more details about the Roberts family than the previous document. Among other charges, Cantees’ document says that Mrs. Roberts invites ORU athletes on her Make Your Day Count television show and gives them gifts, which is listed on the document as an “NCAA violation.”

Previously on October 9th, Roberts and his wife appeared on Larry King Live, and denied all the accusations. On Friday ORU released a two sentence statement denying all allegations, and Lindsay released an email that said, “I live my life in a morally upright manner and throughout my marriage have never, ever engaged in any sexual behavior with any man outside of my marriage as the accusations imply.” She continued: “Allegations against me in a lawsuit yesterday are not true. They sicken me to my soul.”

Related news

  • “Oral Roberts University president accused of illegal political donations and financial misappropriation” — Wikinews, October 5, 2007

Sister links

  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg Oral Roberts University
  • Wikisource-logo.svg Swails, Brooker, Brooker v. Oral Roberts University

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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

October 5, 2007

Oral Roberts University president accused of illegal political donations and financial misappropriation

Oral Roberts University president accused of illegal political donations and financial misappropriation

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Friday, October 5, 2007

Richard Roberts, the President of Oral Roberts University, and his wife, Lindsay Roberts, are accused of illegal political contributions, financial wrong-doing, and wrongful firings in a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The lawsuit was filed by three former professors who claim “they were wrongfully dismissed after reporting the school’s involvement in a local political race.” According to KTEN television news, “Roberts’ statement says personal expenses are charged to him and he personally pays them on a monthly basis.” On October 3, Roberts “told students and faculty during his weekly chapel Wednesday that the lawsuit is about intimidation, blackmail and extortion.”

Richard has been president of ORU since his father, Oral Roberts university founder and former faith healer, “semi-retired” in 1993.

Political accusations

Tim Brooker, one the former professors suing ORU, was employed by ORU starting 2001 when he was recruited by the Republican National Committee (RNC) “in an effort to further Republican efforts.” According to reports, over the next six years the program had success in political races outside of Oklahoma, and was financed either by the RNC or individual campaign committees.

Specifically, Roberts is accused making of illegal donations to current Tulsa County Commissioner Randi Miller, a Republican candidate, in her race for Tulsa mayor. The university staff worried that “Roberts risked the non-profit status of the university by insisting” students work as volunteers for Miller’s mayoral campaign. In May 2006, after the IRS contacted ORU about its involvement Miller’s campaign, Brooker said he told to “fall on the sword” while taking “full and total blame.” This would have required covering up the directives made by Roberts. Days after the three professors brought this to the attention of the school, they were fired by Stephanie Cantese, Richard Robert’s sister-in-law. Cantese also said Brooker’s “son would not graduate from ORU.”

Other allegations

The allegations against misusing ORU assets include Roberts using the university jet and billing expenses for several vacations, using the jet to ferry people for his daughter’s trip to Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas on ORU credit cards, maintaining a stable of horses at the university for exclusive use by the Roberts’ children, having university and ministry employees summoned to the Roberts home to do the daughters’ homework, having ORU staff and security do family chores, remodeling the Roberts home 11 times in the past 14 years, using several ORU vehicles for personal use, and purchasing a red Mercedes convertible and a Lexus SUV for Lindsay with ORU money.

Lindsay is also accused of spending tens of thousands of dollars on clothes billed to the university, awarding thirteen nonacademic scholarships to friends’ children despite poor scores, sending late-night text messages on university-issued cell phones to “underage males,” and firing a “longtime maintenance employee” at ORU her “underage male friend” could have the job.

In addition one Roberts’ children was video-taped vandalizing and removing athletic department equipment from ORU property. The items, which were beneficial to the Roberts family was not recovered and though Richard was confronted he took no action.

The lawsuit also claims Paulita Brooker, Tim’s wife, “was fired partly because Swails had reported that Vice Provost [Jeff Ogle] sexually harassed another professor” and took no action regarding the sexual harassment.

Responses

John Hagee, a ORU Board of Regents member, said the university’s executive board “is conducting a full and thorough investigation.” The lawsuit alleges “members of the Board of Regents are painfully aware- have omitted from this Petition to preserve, as much as possible, the remaining image of the University.” Furthermore, the court filing quoted Roberts as saying “if a Regent appears to give me trouble, I remove him. I stack the deck. . .”

On Wednesday Roberts said, “This suit has been filed by an attorney who has over the years filed many suits against Oral Roberts University . . . And he has lost every suit that he has filed against the university.” In response Gary Richardson, representing the plaintiffs, noted he was involved in only one lawsuit involving ORU, involving its hospital building, and it was settled before trial. Richardson replied, “I hate to call him a liar, but he’s a liar.”



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External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
Oral Roberts University
Wikisource
Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Swails, Brooker, Brooker v. Oral Roberts University
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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
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