• Suspended university president files lawsuit


    BOSTON (AP) - Suspended Westfield State University President Evan Dobelle has filed a federal lawsuit against university trustees and the state's higher education commissioner.

    In the lawsuit, Dobelle alleges trustees conspired to damage his reputation and violate his rights by investigating and suspending him amid criticism that he charged personal expenses on school credit cards and spent lavishly on foreign travel. The action, filed Thursday in Springfield, had been expected. The officials have previously denied Dobelle's allegations.

    The trustees placed Dobelle on paid leave last week and hired a Boston law firm to investigate his spending, which he has said benefited the university. The report is due by the board's Nov. 25 meeting.

    The lawsuit refers to Dobelle as a "visionary in higher education" who was dedicated to the best interests of the school.

    A spokeswoman for Westfield State declined comment.

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