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February 27, 2015

Ex-Head of Mass. College Drops $1.6-Million Suit Over Ouster

The former Westfield State University president who retired under pressure in 2013 amid an investigation of his lavish spending of institutional and foundation funds has withdrawn a federal lawsuit over his exit from the Massachusetts institution, The Boston Globe reports. Evan Dobelle had sought $1.6-million in damages, claiming university trustees and the state's top higher-education official violated his civil and contractual rights by forcing his exit.

An attorney for Mr. Dobelle said Thursday that the "cost of continuing to fight was simply too great." The former president also waived his right to refile in the future. Reviews by a private auditing firm and Massachusetts' inspector general cited large sums in travel and personal expenditures Mr. Dobelle charged to Westfield State and its affiliated foundation, which the state report said was nearly bankrupted by the alleged misspending. A state lawsuit against Mr. Dobelle is continuing.