ORU Plaintiffs Intend To Push Lawsuits

Wednesday, November 28th 2007, 5:13 pm
By: News On 6

Richard Roberts takes his case to the students on Wednesday. The former president of Oral Roberts University told students in chapel he didn't want to step down, but God told him to resign. News On 6’s Ashli Sims reports even Roberts' resignation won't stop him or the university his father founded from facing a string of lawsuits.

The big donation overshadowed much of the news from ORU on Tuesday, but today the reality sets in. Despite the money, the resignation, and the talk of change, ORU is still being sued by four different parties.

"ORU received donations in the amounts of $8 million and $2 million respectively, yes, excellent," said George Pearsons of the ORU Board of Regents.

It's the announcement that grabbed applause and headlines. The multi-million dollar gift didn't take back the reason Oral Roberts University was thrust into the spotlight in the first place.

Three former ORU professors, two students and a former accountant are all still suing the university.

"The question I'm being asked most often does that mean the lawsuits go away the answer is no," said the plaintiff's attorney, Gary Richardson.

Gary Richardson says the university's recent action does open the door for settlement talks with the university, but not for Richard Roberts who is personally named in the lawsuits.

"So there will not be final resolution with regards to that one defendant for sure until questions are answered," said Richardson.

Richard Roberts addressed students and faculty in their weekly chapel service. Students who were there, told the News On 6, Roberts was tearful and called his resignation the hardest thing he's ever had to do.

Gary Richardson had a different take.

"For Richard Roberts to stand in chapel today and say he's done nothing wrong, when the evidence is so overwhelming otherwise, means there's more work to be done," said Richardson.

The ORU Board of Regents did not release the results of an internal audit which investigated allegations of financial mismanagement by Roberts and his wife, Lindsay. Richardson says he's requested a copy of that document as part of discovery in the lawsuits. He says he wants the truth to come out, and many people are clamoring for him to find it.

"Don't let it be swept under the carpet. Don't let it do what it's always done and we're committed to that," said Richardson. "We're not after destroying the university; we're after truth. That's all we've ever been after."

Richardson says he has reason to believe some conversations will happen soon and he intends to make sure his clients are compensated well for what they've been through.

Richardson would not specify how much compensation.

Watch the video: ORU Plantiffs Say Lawsuits Will Continue