For the second time in four months, a Baton Rouge state judge dismissed a woman’s claims that a now former LSU Alumni Association head gave her a job at the association so she could continue a sexual relationship with him and paid her $3,200 a month after she resigned to keep the arrangement a secret.
Kay Heath sued Charlie Roberts, the former official, and the association last year after the payments stopped.
District Judge Mike Caldwell first threw out Heath’s lawsuit Oct. 20 but gave her attorney, Jeffry Sanford, an opportunity to amend it. The judge said then that the facts alleged in the suit did not “point to a specific cause of action” that Roberts can defend.
Caldwell ruled from the bench Monday that the amended suit raised no new factual allegations.
“Mr. Roberts is once again relieved that the case is over,” Roberts’ attorney, Mary Olive Pierson, said of the suit following the judge’s ruling. “It’s over until somebody revives it.”
Sanford promised to take the case to the state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal.
“We’re going to let some other judges look at,” Sanford said, adding that he believes the original suit was appropriately filed.
Heath dropped the association from her suit in August after Roberts resigned as its longtime president and chief executive officer. He led LSU’s alumni efforts for three decades.
Sanford contends Heath and Roberts, 78, had an agreement — what Sanford calls a contract — that called for Roberts to pay Heath $3,200 a month for the rest of her life in return for Roberts keeping his position and lucrative salary at the association.
Caldwell noted in his ruling that Heath could not guarantee Roberts would retain his salary.
“This was not a contract for sex,” Heath, 63, stressed Monday outside the judge’s courtroom.
Pierson has said the money Roberts paid Heath after she resigned was due to “his love and affection for her.” Roberts planned on marrying her, Pierson has said, but Heath turned those plans upside down.
Roberts stated in his “voluntary resignation/retirement” letter that he left his job to protect the association. He has admitted to a personal relationship with Heath and to personally providing her financial assistance but denies the payments were payoffs or hush money.
Two separate audits ordered following the sex scandal involving Roberts found no wrongdoing or misused money, LSU Alumni Association President and CEO Cliff Vannoy said last fall.
The LSU Alumni Association runs as a nonprofit entity separate from the university.