LSU Alumni Association President and CEO resigns amid pending lawsuit, sex scandal

Published: Aug. 13, 2014 at 9:43 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2014 at 1:12 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The president of the LSU Alumni Association, Dr. Charlie Roberts, resigned Wednesday afternoon in the midst of a pending lawsuit related to a sex scandal.

Kay Heath, a former marketing director who worked for Roberts, filed suit against Roberts and the LSU Alumni Association earlier this month. She claims she and Roberts had a sexual relationship while working together. She said when the LSU Alumni Association found out about it, Dr. Roberts told her one of the two of them needed to resign. She says he suggested that she quit, get $21,000 in severance pay and he would then pay her $3,200 a month for life in exchange for her silence. But Heath says when those monthly payments suddenly stopped last month, she decided to file suit.

After she filed suit, Heath released a statement saying that Roberts "had multiple sexual encounters with employees during their employment with the association' and that he gave those partners "advantages due to sexual relationships."

Roberts had taken annual leave from his post and LSU initiated an immediate inquiry, in cooperation with the Alumni Association, into the allegations.

In his resignation letter, Roberts states "Despite her words to the contrary, it has become quite apparent that the plaintiff in the suit recently filed against me and the LSU Alumni Association is determined to extract her revenge from me and, in the process, destroy the Association and malign its employees. I am confident that I will successfully defend the lawsuit. However, I cannot stand by and let my continued active employment be a magnet for her obvious determination to destroy the Association."

Heath's attorney Jeff Sanford said they would be willing to drop the suit only against the LSU Alumni Association if Roberts stepped down. "Kay Heath feels like Dr. Roberts continued affiliation with the association is doing harm to the association and to many of the good employees and that's why she has made the offer to dismiss the case against the association upon his resignation or permanent termination," said Sanford.

Roberts goes on to say in his resignation letter "... in order to protect the Association and compel Ms. Heath to live by this public representations, I hereby submit my voluntary resignation/retirement letter, effective immediately, with the details of my accumulated leave to be determined and resolved. If she does not fulfill her representations 'this minute,' it will prove that her press statement was nothing more that [sic] another publicity stunt."

Roberts attorney, Mary Olive Pierson said last week that Roberts had no plans to step down. "He may retire sometime in the future but he's not going to do it now because we're not going to give her the satisfaction of thinking he caused it," Pierson said last week.

Roberts included this statement with his resignation letter: "I would also like to take this opportunity to assure all of our members and contributors that none, as in zero, of the support given to the plaintiff following her voluntary severance from the Association were contributed to or funded with Alumni Association funds. They were all made with my personal discretionary funds."

The five-page lawsuit filed in 19th Judicial District Court seeks financial compensation.

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