State education officials suspend funding to Westfield State - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

State education officials suspend funding to Westfield State

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WESTFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Top education officials are sending a strong message to Westfield State.

The school's president has been the center of controversy because he ran up a personal tab on school credit cards.

Now the state is suspending almost $200,000 supposed to go to the school.

It was back in August, an investigation into Dr. Dobelle's spending found that he mixed personal and business expenses, charging the school's foundation $180,000 in two and a half years.

He was supposed to explain his spending to the state on Oct. 3, but asked for an extension until Oct. 7.

Now in return, the state is taking a harsh stance on the school.

Along with the nearly $200,000 in suspended funding, the state's Higher Education Commissioner Richard Freeland announced on Friday he is now recommending to the Patrick Administration to withhold another $2 million for a science center.

Dr. Dobelle's spokesman, George Regan, called the suspension "bizarre" and an attempt to "blackmail" the trustees instead of waiting for a comprehensive response from Dr. Dobelle.

Since Dr. Dobelle has been president, Westfield State has seen millions of dollars in revenue and received a series of updates to the campus.

Dr. Dobelle has said his spending has been for the benefit of the school, and he has no plans in stepping down.

The Westfield State Board of Trustees has scheduled an Oct. 16 meeting to decide how to reprimand Dobelle.

CBS 3 will be at the meeting and will continue to keep you updated on this story.

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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