WESTFIELD (AP) -- A Westfield State University alumnus has offered to create a $100,000 student scholarship fund if ex-president Evan Dobelle drops his lawsuits against the school.

John Walsh, owner of skin care company Elizabeth Grady Co., says Dobelle will accept the offer "if he has the best interests of students at heart."

Walsh said at Thursday’s trustees meeting that he wanted to start a scholarship fund last year, but lost confidence in Dobelle’s leadership amid state investigations into his spending on travel, hotels, restaurants, limousines and other items. Dobelle, who resigned in November, defended the spending as necessary to promote the school.

Dobelle sued, saying he was forced out. Dobelle lives in Pittsfield and is a former city mayor.

Walsh says legal fees are "bleeding the school."

Dobelle’s lawyer tells The Republican newspaper that Walsh’s offer is a "silly PR stunt."


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