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Official wants trustee in case of meningitis-causing steroid

– An independent trustee must be appointed to oversee the bankruptcy of a Massachusetts pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak because of the firm’s “gross mismanagement,” among other reasons, a Justice Department official argued Tuesday.

U.S. Trustee William Harrington also argued in his motion that an accountant the New England Compounding Center hired to lead it through the Chapter 11 process had a hopeless conflict of interest because the NECC’s board have the ability to fire him at any time.

Harrington accused the NECC of hiring Keith Lowey and appointing him to its board just before it filed for bankruptcy “in an apparent attempt to forestall the appointment of a trustee.”

A tainted steroid made by the NECC has been linked to a fungal meningitis outbreak that has killed 40 and sickened more than 600 since this summer.

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