comscore Dobelle's lawyers drop out, cite failure to pay bills | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Dobelle’s lawyers drop out, cite failure to pay bills

    Evan Dobelle left the University of Hawaii a decade ago amid allegations he spent too much money

WESTFIELD, Mass. >> Lawyers for former University of Hawaii president Evan Dobelle, who is suing Massachusetts state education officials, cite an “irreconcilable difference” and a failure to pay bills, in their effort to drop him as a client.

Dobelle served as Westfield State University president from January 2008 until his resignation in November 2013 amid questions about what some people called extravagant spending on travel, restaurant meals and other services.

In motions filed in federal court this week, several of his lawyers sought to withdraw from the case.

Dobelle, while not commenting on his lawyers’ motions, said via email that the school is obligated to pay his legal fees.

Dobelle’s lawsuit alleges violations of Dobelle’s constitutional and contractual rights. He has said his spending was necessary to promote the university.

No trial date has been set.

Dobelle’s troubles at Westfield are similar to his controversial tenure at UH from 2001 to 2004. UH regents unanimously voted to fire him in 2004 amid charges of lavish spending, dishonesty and wasting university resources.

Dobelle said he was a victim of a vendetta by then-Gov. Linda Lingle, and he fought back with lawyers. He threatened to sue UH for wrongful termination. The regents reached a settlement and Dobelle resigned.

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