TULSA, Okla. – The president of Oral Roberts University, who is facing accusations he misspent university funds to support a lavish lifestyle, resigned from his position, officials said Friday.
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 after a lawsuit filed by three former professors.
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.
On Friday, he said in the statement that he loved the university. He became president in 1993. “I love ORU with all my heart,” Roberts said. “I love the students, faculty, staff and administration and I want to see God’s best for all of them.”
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.
In the weeks since that lawsuit was filed, other accusations 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.