Westfield State's legal bills mount

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WESTFIELD, Mass. (AP) -- Westfield State University's legal battle against its own president is expected to cost at least $1.2 million.

The university's top financial officer told trustees Monday that $500,000-plus in bills already received from the Boston law firm of Fish & Richardson will likely double, and could reach $1.5 million.

Kimberly Tobin, interim vice president for administration and finance, recommended that trustees consider transferring $1.2 million from reserve accounts to pay legal bills.

A university spokeswoman tells The Republican newspaper the money will not come from student programs or services.

Former President Evan Dobelle resigned Nov. 8, ending a three-month legal battle with trustees and the state Higher Education Commissioner over what some considered extravagant spending on travel and other perks. Dobelle defended the spending, saying he was simply promoting the university.


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