Monday, October 15, 2007

Bible Thumpers Behaving Badly

From the Tulsa World

Oral Roberts University and its president's wife, Lindsay Roberts, issued written statements Saturday saying that claims and accusations added to a lawsuit Friday are untrue.

A report attached to the lawsuit Friday contains allegations that Roberts, 51, spent a great deal of time with an underage male.

"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," Roberts said in her statement.

"Allegations against me in a lawsuit yesterday are not true. They sicken me to my soul," she said.

The lawsuit, as amended Friday, also added ORU's board of regents as a defendant and contained a new legal claim that the board had neglected to oversee, authorize and supervise the conduct of the defendants ORU, President Richard Roberts and university administrators Mark Lewandowski, Wendy Shirk and Jeff Ogle, as evidenced by those parties allegedly
allowing a "convicted sexual deviant unrestricted access to the students of the university" as a "mentor" hired by Richard Roberts to work with students.

A written statement attributed to the university says, "The allegations that the university employed a sexual deviant are untrue."

The plaintiffs, three former ORU professors, support their claim of negligence by alleging in the suit that the board allowed ORU and Richard Roberts to fire ORU's comptroller and then shred and destroy "voluminous materials and documents . . . constituting spoilation of evidence."

The two-sentence statement from ORU also says, "The allegations that the university purposely or improperly destroyed documents are also untrue."

The allegations and claims are part of a lawsuit filed Oct. 2 in Tulsa County District Court by John Swails, Tim Brooker and Paulita Brooker, who claim that they were wrongfully fired or forced to resign from ORU. Brooker charges that Richard Roberts required him to involve his students in a Tulsa mayoral campaign in violation of federal laws for tax-exempt organizations.

The three also claim that they were fired or forced to resign after they turned over to the board of regents a report at least partially written by Lindsay Roberts' sister, Stephanie Cantees.

Richard Roberts said the 3-year-old report from Cantees listed untrue rumors that she was letting him know about. Richard Roberts claimed that the report referenced in the lawsuit contained additional false allegations that he had never seen before.

Swails said at a press conference Oct. 2 that he and his fellow plaintiffs, upon receiving Cantees' report, told one another, "We hope it's not true."

Lindsay Roberts said in her statement Saturday that "the part that grieves me the most" is the spreading of the allegations through the media "when the parties suing have continued to say they don't even know if these allegations are true."

"I believe it's grossly unfair to allow such speculation to be used against me and attached to a lawsuit in which I am not even named as a party," she said. "I firmly believe that my vindication will certainly come in the court of law in the future and I am issuing this statement because I am unwilling to idly sit by and be accused of actions that are not true."
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