Friday, November 23, 2007

A Christmas Miracle

And it came to pass that Dick, son of Oral, was cast out of the Garden of Tax-Exemption, but lo, the Institution continueth to sucketh at the golden teat of tax subsidies:

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The president of Oral Roberts University facing accusations he misspent school funds to support a lavish lifestyle resigned on Friday, officials said.

Richard Roberts' resignation is effective immediately, according to a statement e-mailed from George Pearsons, chairman of the school's Board of Regents.

Roberts and the university have come under fire since a lawsuit was filed by three former professors last month.

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, and a stable of horses for the Roberts children.

Roberts, son of school founder and televangelist Oral Roberts, had been on temporary leave from the evangelical university, fighting the accusations against him. In a recent interview, the couple denied wrongdoing.

The professors also alleged in their lawsuit that Richard Roberts required students in a government class to work on 2006 mayoral candidate Randi Miller's campaign.

Roberts publicly endorsed Miller, but said then that he was doing so as a private citizen and not as an ORU representative. He has denied the lawsuit's claims that he ordered students to work on Miller's campaign.

Professor Tim Brooker, one of the lawsuit plaintiffs, accused the school of forcing him to quit after he warned Roberts that requiring students to work on Miller's campaign jeopardized ORU's tax-exempt status.

In the weeks since that lawsuit was filed, others have cropped up, including one from a former senior accountant who alleged that the Robertses ordered him to help them hide improper and illegal financial wrongdoing from the authorities and the public.


Executive Regent Billy Joe Daugherty will assume the president's administrative responsibilities, working with Oral Roberts until the regents' meeting, the statement said.

Former ORU regent Harry McNevin, who quit the board in 1987 because of the misspending he alleged he witnessed, called the resignation "inevitable."

"You can't take the sacrifices of God's people and use them any old way," he said. "It's been 20 years that they've been doing the same things that I became aware of."

And I'm sure the University will be sending a check for two decades of back taxes as a show of contrition.

900 foot Jesus could not be reached for comment.

No comments: