Veterans Affairs regional director to retire after coming under fire following Legionnaires' outbreak
October 4, 2013 7:30 PM
By Sean D. Hamill Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The regional director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs who came under scrutiny because of a deadly Legionnaires' disease outbreak in Pittsburgh will retire Nov. 1, according to a VA press release.
The announcement by Michael Moreland, who directs the VA region that includes the Pittsburgh VA, comes three days after he hinted in an interview that he might be leaving the VA after a decades-long career, the last six years spent as regional director.
"I've got 34 years of federal service," he said in an interview Tuesday. "I'm 57 years old. I have lots of energy to do something else. And it would not be unusual with someone with that history to find something different to do."
Mr. Moreland has been a witness at two congressional hearings in the past eight months during which he was questioned about the events that led up to and caused the Legionnaire's outbreak that occurred in Pittsburgh in 2011 and 2012 that led to the deaths of as many as six veterans and caused another 17 to become ill.
He not only came under fire for the outbreak but for his decision to accept in April a presidential award that came with a $63,000 bonus just three days after a VA inspector general report found systemic problems led to the outbreak in Pittsburgh.
He was previously the Pittsburgh VA's director and began his career with the VA as a clinical social worker.