Evan Dobelle Sues State Official and Trustees Who Put Him on Leave

Evan S. Dobelle, the sidelined president of Westfield State University, filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday against the Massachusetts institution’s Board of Trustees and the state’s higher-education commissioner. The trustees put Mr. Dobelle on leave last week pending an investigation of allegations that he spent university money recklessly on lavish travel and personal expenses. Mr. Dobelle’s lawsuit says the trustees and the commissioner conspired to destroy his reputation.

Dobelle, who described himself as a “visionary” who is “renowned” for his leadership, said he would be seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the damage to his reputation and interference with his contract, under which he’s paid more than $240,000 a year.

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