The newest controversy at Oral Roberts University is most easily summarized this way:
Three professors, John Swails, Tim Brooker and Paulita Brooker, were fired for allegedly voicing concerns about the university’s involvement in Tulsa’s recent mayoral race — a move that would jeopardize the school’s tax exempt status.
“We turned it over to the board of trustees, and at that point we all found ourselves separated from the university,” Swails said.
The professors’ lawsuit alleges that Roberts took money from the university’s coffers and remodeled his family home 11 times in 14 years, spent more than $26,000 on his daughter’s senior trip and even required university employees to complete her homework.
The suit also alleges that Roberts’ wife, Lindsey, spent more than $39,000 of the school’s money on clothing and ran up more than $800 monthly in cell phone bills, which included hundreds of text messages in the middle of the night to “underage males who had been provided phones at university expense.”
“I am not intimidated by blackmail and extortion,” Roberts said in response to the accusations.
The Roberts will be on Larry King Live this evening. King is an old friend of Oral Roberts, believe it or not. It will likely be a very friendly venue for Richard and Lindsay Roberts.
Unfortunately for them, this is a scandal that seems to be gathering intensity. Today, a private group representing ORU students demanded Roberts resign.