A Department of Veterans Affairs official, who oversaw a Pittsburgh VA hospital investigated after at least five people died following an outbreak of a rare disease, has announced he is retiring.
Michael Moreland, a regional VA director overseeing hospitals in Pittsburgh, other parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware, will be retiring on Nov. 1, 2013, he told his staff in an internal email.
Though Moreland seemed to hint at the prospects of retirement in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette just days ago, congressional sources said his retirement is unexpected and most likely the result of the media firestorm suggesting that the Legionella outbreak at the Pittsburgh VA hospital in 2011 could have been prevented.
Moreland did not return a request for comment questioning whether or not his retirement had to do with claims that the Legionella outbreak was mishandled.
CNBC first reported on problems at the hospital in early September. (Read more: Rare disease at hospital raises concerns about VA health care).
Legionella is a bacteria found in water that can cause Legionnaires' disease if it is untreated. Legionnaire's disease is curable, but could prove fatal if treatment is not administered in time. At least five veterans died from the disease at that VA Hospital.