ORU faces a revised lawsuit

Two former ORU professors file a new version that adds and drops names while getting more specific.

Former Oral Roberts University professors Tim Brooker and Paulita Brooker filed a new version of their lawsuit Friday, adding and subtracting people they are suing.

In the new version, they no longer are suing ORU Provost Mark Lewandowski, but they added as defendants the Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and individual members of the governing boards for ORU, Oral Roberts Ministries and OREA.

The ORU board members who are listed include Chairman George Pearsons, the executive committee minus university founder Oral Roberts, the business regents, and Associate Regent Michael Cardone Jr., who has been an associate regent at least since 2000.

People who resigned from the board since the lawsuit was filed Oct. 2 are included:

Lindsay Roberts, Creflo Dollar, Jesse Duplantis, I.V. Hilliard and Benny Hinn.

Oral Roberts Ministries and OREA directors are listed as John Doe(s) and Jane Doe(s).

The Brookers’ legal claims and arguments remain the same in the latest version of their lawsuit, although they now specify which defendants are facing which accusations, including breach of contract/wrongful discharge, slander, negligence and more.

A gag order issued Jan. 11 prevents parties in the case from talking about the lawsuit outside of court.

In previous versions of the lawsuit, the Brookers accused Lewandowski, ORU’s top academic administrator, of playing a part in wrongfully causing Tim Brooker to lose his job.

In November, Lewandowski came out against Richard Roberts remaining as president, a position former plaintiff John Swails said he supported. Roberts resigned Nov. 23 but has denied wrongdoing.

Swails settled his portion of the case after a day of mediation Jan. 10 and was rehired by ORU.

A $70 million offer for ORU from businessman Mart Green and his family is largely contingent on whether ORU can settle unspecified litigation, according to an ORU press release this week.

After the professors filed their suit, two ORU students and a former ORU accountant each sued the school. Nothing has happened in those cases in court since November.

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Tulsa World, USA
Jan. 26, 2008
April Marciszewski

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This post was last updated: Monday, January 28, 2008 at 11:57 AM, Central European Time (CET)