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August 07, 2014

Former Westfield State president Evan Dobelle resigned in November 2013. (Flickr/masshighered)

Months after he resigned, the former president of Westfield State is now being sued for allegedly misusing school funds.

On Thursday, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley accused Evan Dobelle of spending nearly $100,000 on personal expenses and family vacations.

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Before his resignation in November 2013, Dobelle came under fire for expenses he says he made to boost the school's brand. Coakley said Dobelle used school-issued credit cards to make hundreds of personal purchases during his six-year tenure. The purchases included family trips to Cuba and buying meals at expensive restaurants.

The former Westfield State president "blatantly misused public funds for trips that were nothing but weeklong vacations with family and friends,” according to the lawsuit.

Just weeks before he resigned late last year, Dobelle defended his reputation and responded to allegations of lavish spending.

"This situation to me is quite honestly confusing and I'm not quite sure what the genesis of it is. And I'm not quite certain why it's continually being pushed in the media,” he told WGBH's Greater Boston during an interview in October.

The Attorney General’s office began its investigation into Dobelle's expenses after Westfield State's Board of Trustees determined he violated university policy.

In October, WGBH's On Campus reported on college presidents facing increased scrutiny amid the public outcry over college costs and student loan debt:

college costs, westfield state, evan dobelle, confronting costs

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