ORU has confirmed that a year ago the Internal Revenue Service was investigating. ORU said it later made changes in line with the recommendations made by the IRS.
The suit contends that a false allegation was made to the IRS during the course of that investigation.
In taking the leave of absence, Roberts said in the statement: "I have prayed about it, and feel that it is in the best interest of my family and the university.”
In his continuing position with the ministries, Robert said he will continue preaching and teaching "God's Word and will continue to write letters and books, and minister to the need of people.”
What's the local reaction?
Pastor Matt Nelson of Oklahoma City's North Church, 1600 W Memorial, was a spiritual life dorm adviser at ORU, working for Richard and Lindsay Roberts.
He met with them at least monthly along with the student leadership to talk about issues at the school and how to ha ndle them better.
About Roberts taking a leave of absence, Nelson, "from what I know of Richard, he has always put his family first.”
"I do not even want to speculate until the truth is revealed” about the allegations, Nelson said. "I have a great deal of respect for them. People are always going to look for a reason to bring them down,”
Nelson also knew plaintiffs Tim Brooker and Paulita Brooker, going on a study trip to Greece with them. "I thought they were great people.”
Related document: Lawsuit filed against ORU
Oral Roberts, the university
Scandal vulnerability assessment