WESTFIELD, Mass. (AP) -- Westfield State University trustees have approved using $900,000 in reserve funds to pay legal bills stemming from legal disputes with former president Evan Dobelle.

Trustees voted Monday to transfer funds from reserve accounts to cover most of the $1.1 million owed to the law firm handling the school's response to subpoenas from the state Inspector General and Attorney General's offices.

Trustees chairman John Flynn III tells The Republican the school had no choice but to pay the bills.

He says student services and programs will not suffer.

Dobelle, a former head of Middlesex Community College in Bedford and Lowell, resigned following a battle over what some considered extravagant spending. Dobelle defended the spending, saying it was necessary to promote the university.

He has filed a federal lawsuit claiming his constitutional and contractual rights were violated when he was forced out.


Information from: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, http://www.masslive.com/news/