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Oral Roberts University president quits amid lawsuit

  • Story Highlights
  • "I love ORU with all my heart," Richard Roberts writes in his resignation letter
  • Three professors allege they were fired for revealing misspending
  • Roberts and wife deny spending university funds improperly
  • Roberts announced last month he was stepping aside temporarily as president
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(CNN) -- Richard Roberts, the embattled president of Oral Roberts University and the son of its namesake evangelist founder, stepped down Friday, according to the school's Board of Regents.

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Richard Roberts and wife Lindsay appear on CNN's "Larry King Live" in October.

"I love ORU with all my heart. I love the students, faculty, staff and administration, and I want to see God's best for them," Roberts wrote in his resignation letter.

Roberts' decision was effective immediately and came as the school fought a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by three professors who accused him and his wife of misconduct.

John Swails, Tim Brooker and Paulita Brooker said they lost their jobs after reporting information indicating that Roberts and his family lavishly spent school money for personal expenses.

Roberts and his wife, Lindsay, have denied the allegations.

The suit also claimed Oral Roberts University gave a "convicted sexual deviant unrestricted access to students" and evidence in the case had been shredded -- charges the university has denied.

In addition, the suit alleged Lindsay Roberts repeatedly spent time with an "underage male" in various situations. She denied any improper behavior, insisting in a statement that she had "never, ever engaged in any sexual behavior with any man outside of my marriage."

The Board of Regents, which voted to hire an auditor to look into the claims, will meet early next week to discuss a search process for a new president, according to Friday's statement from Chairman George Pearsons.

Roberts announced last month he would step aside temporarily as president, saying he and his family had suffered "heavy damage."

The controversy has drawn international attention to the private Christian university in Tulsa, Oklahoma. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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