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Oral Roberts president to take leave

Tulsa_Oral Roberts University president Richard Roberts has asked the school's board of regents for a leave of absence amid accusations of lavish spending at donors' expense and illegal involvement in a political campaign.

On Wednesday, Roberts, 58, said he would continue in his role as chairman and chief executive of Oral Roberts Ministries.

"I don't know how long this leave of absence will last, but I fully trust the members of the Board of Regents," Roberts said in a statement released by the university. "I pray and believe that in God's timing, and when the Board feels that it is appropriate, I will be back at my post as president."

An Oct. 2 lawsuit filed by three former ORU professors says they were wrongfully dismissed and alleges the spending at donors' expense, including numerous home remodels and a senior trip to the Bahamas for one daughter on the ministry's dime.

It also accuses Roberts of illegal involvement in a local political campaign, which would violate the university's nonprofit status.

By Justin juozapavicius, Associated Press Writer. Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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