AG Coakley suing former Westfield State president

Attorney General Martha Coakley filed a lawsuit Thursday against the former president of Westfield State University.

Evan Dobelle is accused of using school issued credit cards and school funds to make purchases and take vacations from the time he began in 2008 until his resignation.

“This pattern of inappropriately spending state money is unacceptable, as leaders of public schools should be enforcing their policies instead of knowingly violating them for their own personal benefit,” Coakley said.

Dobelle is accused of submitting false claims of at least $59,000 for personal expenses and at least $39,000 for trips he said were for university business.

The Attorney General’s Office began investigating Dobelle in the fall of 2013 and by November he had resigned.

During the investigation credit card records indicated Dobelle had used the funds to purchase a Macbook Pro, a Kindle Fire and various dinners and trips for his family and friends.

It appears that Dobelle paid back several of the personal purchases, although in some instances it wasn’t until several months after the use of the university card.

Because the lawsuit is civil, Dobelle does not face any jail time if he is found guilty.