Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Former University Prez Seeks $1.6 Million

by Gary Snyder

Evan S. Dobelle, former president of Westfield State University, is seeking more than $1.6 million in damages following his resignation last November amid accusations of lavishly spending university funds.

He  asked for attorneys’ fees, punitive damages, and other compensation, with interest, in a June 4 filing in his federal lawsuit against three university trustees, the school’s attorneys, an outside audit group, and the state commissioner of higher education. The filing set a minimum of $1,686,442.94 in damages, representing Dobelle’s lost income based on a salary of $240,920.42 per year until his retirement at age 75.

Dobelle resigned after university trustees placed him on paid administrative leave as investigators for the school and two state agencies examined records of his spending of university money on international travel, limousines, five-star hotels, and pricey restaurants.

The questionable spending of Dobelle became public last August when the Globe first reported on expenses that included almost $150,000 used to take a Westfield State delegation to Asia and $10,000 for tickets at Tanglewood, where he took a number of potential donors. (source)

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