Updated: New claims in ORU lawsuit
BY APRIL MARCISZEWSKI World Staff Writer
Saturday, October 13, 2007
10/14/07 at 5:34 AM
The latest on this story: School, Lindsay Roberts deny all
It alleges documents were
destroyed and a "sexual
deviant" had access to campus.
Three former Oral Roberts University professors made public on Friday what their
lawsuit against ORU describes as "the exact
packet of information" that they allege got
two of them fired and resulted in one's resignation.
Previous versions of their lawsuit contained only a summary of the report, which
was at least partially written by Stephanie
Cantees, the sister-in-law of ORU President
Cantees, Roberts' community and government liaison, gives him reports of what she
hears -- including rumors -- in the community and government, Roberts
has said. He claimed earlier
this week that the report referenced in the lawsuit contained
a report by Cantees plus additional information he had not
He said Cantees' report consisted of untrue rumors.
The full, unsubstantiated report now attached to the lawsuit contains new allegations
that Lindsay Roberts, Richard
Roberts' wife, spent the night
in an ORU guest house with
an underage male nine times,
was photographed 29 times in
her car with an underage male
after midnight and after minors' curfew, visited Victory
Christian School with an underage male 81 times in 2004,
smoked with an underage
male at her house and repeatedly moved her "male 16-year-old friend" into her family's
The summary of the report
in the first version of the lawsuit stated that Lindsay Roberts had sent text messages to
underage males late at night.
She said earlier this week that
one of her daughters used her
cell phone and that the family
sends cell phones home with
the daughters' friends to ensure that they get home safely.
ORU officials, including
Richard Roberts, declined to
comment after 5 p.m. Friday
because they had not seen the
amended lawsuit, a spokesman said. The Tulsa World obtained a copy of the amended
lawsuit about 5 p.m. Friday.
Gary L. Richardson, attorney for former professors
John Swails, Tim Brooker and
Paulita Brooker, did not return calls to his cell phone Friday evening. Swails referred
questions to his lawyer.
Earlier in the week, Richardson said the report developed by Cantees did not have
to be true for the professors'
lawsuit to be viable. The professors claim that they were
wrongfully fired or caused to
resign because they turned
the report over to ORU's
board of regents.
Richard Roberts said earlier
in the week that Tim Brooker
resigned of his own accord
and that Paulita Brooker's
The report newly attached
to the lawsuit is written in
three sections, with the latter
two in a different style from
the first. The first section misspells Cantees' last name and
appears to quote from a later
For example, the first section, with bullets, punctuation
and clear sentences, says
Lindsay Roberts had a "16-year-old male 'friend,' " and
the second section says "male
16-year-old friend" with no
quotation marks. The latter
sections are riddled with misspellings, lack punctuation
and are written with phrases
that run together.
The Robertses have described Cantees' writing style
as consisting of half-sentences
and lacking punctuation because she is dyslexic.
The amended lawsuit also
contains a new defendant --
ORU's board of regents -- and
two new legal claims.
The former professors now
claim that the board has neglected to properly oversee
ORU, Richard Roberts and administrators.
The lawsuit claims that Vice
Provost Jeff Ogle sexually harassed a professor, who was
allegedly forced to resign
while Ogle was promoted.
Ogle has refuted the harassment claim.
The lawsuit also claims that
ORU and Richard Roberts
gave "a convicted sexual deviant unrestricted access to the
students of the university."
The unidentified man was a
"mentor" to ORU students and
had confessed to "exposing
himself to a 15-year-old boy in
a school locker room."
"This further demonstrates
the board's wanton and arrogant disregard for the safety of
the students under its care,"
the lawsuit states.
As another example of alleged negligence, the plaintiffs
claim that ORU and Richard
Roberts fired the school's financial comptroller three days
after they filed their lawsuit,
then ORU destroyed "voluminous materials and documents
. . . constituting spoilation of
evidence," the lawsuit says.
Additionally, the ex-professors claim that ORU, the
board and administrators conspired to fire them, did so and
then "instituted a smear campaign" against them.
The lawsuit alleges that at
least one conspiracy meeting
happened on ORU's plane,
which is leased from Tulsa Jet
Management, whose president is Tulsa City Councilor
The ex-professors are each
still asking for actual damages
in excess of $10,000 and punitive damages in excess of
April Marciszewski 581-8475
Richard Roberts: The
suit claims the board of
regents didn’t provide
enough oversight over
Lindsay Roberts: Suit
claims she spent a lot of
time with an underage
male, even after curfew.