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Editorials

Another VA crock: Michael Moreland returns

| Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 9:00 p.m.

Turning even for disgraced former government officials, the execrable revolving door between Washington's private and public sectors can have regrettable effects beyond the Beltway — such as the return of Michael Moreland to the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System on behalf of a Department of Veterans Affairs contractor.

Mr. Moreland oversaw the local VA hospital system during the 2011-12 Legionnaires' disease outbreak at its Oakland and O'Hara campuses that killed at least six patients and infected at least 16 others. Federal reviewers found that systemic failures on Moreland's watch let the outbreak spread.

Adding to the profound injury done to veterans and their families by the outbreak and its poor handling was the insult of the $63,000 bonus that the Obama White House approved for Moreland — atop his $180,000 salary — shortly before his sudden October 2013 VA retirement. And that insult was compounded by his May 1 visit to the Oakland VA campus on behalf of Shipcom Wireless, which has a four-year VA hospital supply delivery contract worth up to $275 million.

With that visit, Moreland effectively thumbed his nose at the bereaved families and all others who suffered in the outbreak. House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., and Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, want Moreland to step aside from any work for the VA. But what Moreland deserves is a ban from any form of VA work — period.

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