ORU Lawsuit Dismissed

A Tulsa County judge has dismissed a former Oral Roberts University (ORU) accountant's lawsuit alleging misspending at the school.

Filed in November 2007, Trent Huddleston alleged that he was forced to commit fraud by funneling more than $1 billion through "unrestricted" accounts at the university to benefit former President Richard Roberts and his wife, Lindsay.

District Judge Michael Gassett dismissed Huddleston's claims of fraud and wrongful discharge last week. On Monday, he dismissed claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, civil conspiracy and interference with a business relationship, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Huddleston's attorney promised to appeal. "We just totally disagree," Huddleston's attorney, Paul Boudreaux, said of the ruling. "Mr. Huddleston will be back."

Jo Anne Deaton, an attorney for ORU, said the ruling "vindicated" her clients. "We are pleased with Judge Gassett's ruling," she said. "We expected him to make this ruling based on the facts of the law. We're confident the facts will hold up on appeal."

Huddleston's lawsuit was one of three filed against ORU and Richard and Lindsay Roberts in November 2007. A suit filed by three former professors, also alleging financial impropriety, led to Richard Roberts' resignation as president in 2007.

One professor has been reinstated, and ORU reached a settlement with the other two.

A former student's lawsuit against ORU, alleging that he was unable to complete his degree because his professor was fired, remains pending. A decision on that case could be reached later this month.

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