Additional Lawsuits Filed Against Oral Roberts University
Three new lawsuits are filed against Oral Roberts University. Two students have filed suit claiming the value of their education is less because of the ongoing financial scandals at the school. A former accountant claims he was ordered to "cook the books" to cheat the government out of taxes. The News On 6's Emory Bryan reports the accountant's lawsuit claims he was fired just as an audit of the university was about to begin.
The regents ordered the audit, and that's when Trent Huddleston, the accountant, claims he was fired because of his history of questioning the books at Oral Roberts University.
Attorneys Gary Richardson and Paul Boudreaux stood at the Tulsa County Court Clerk's desk, filing their second, third and fourth lawsuits against Oral Roberts University. Two of the new lawsuits claim some students can't finish their degrees because their professors were fired. Cornell Cross is one of those students.
"That kind of stuff diminishes the quality of the education and the value of the degree. When you enter a field like government, and the first thing you're asked is what you think about what happened at your school. I'm not looking forward to that prospect at all," said Cornell Cross, ORU student and plaintiff.
The other lawsuit claims Oral Roberts University fired an accountant who was questioning the books just as the regents started to investigate what was happening with the school's money. The claim is that is the accountant was fired because of his history of questioning ORU Ministry expenses that personally benefitted Richard and Lindsay Roberts.
"About being chastised on more than one occasion for asking questions that most accountants would say they need answers to," said attorney Gary Richardson.
Richardson claims the accountant can prove financial mismanagement at Oral Roberts, while the students who are suing claim their education is in jeopardy because key professors were fired and replaced by less qualified instructors.
"We've had four doctoral level teachers fired out of the department and they haven't been replaced," said ORU student, Cornell Cross.
Originally aired 11/21/2007 6:22 AM - Updated 11/21/2007 6:50 PM