Walter `Mike' Maloney, 71, Prince George's councilman

October 30, 2001|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Walter H. "Mike" Maloney Jr., a Prince George's County councilman who helped write the county's home rule charter, died Sunday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center after the car he was driving struck a tree along Benfield Road in Severna Park.

Mr. Maloney, 71, was driving with his wife, Cecelia Fitzpatrick Maloney, to a family party in Severna Park when he apparently suffered a heart attack and crashed. Mrs. Maloney was released from the hospital yesterday.

Known as Iron Mike, Mr. Maloney represented Laurel, Beltsville and Adelphi on the County Council, a body he helped create in the late 1960s. He was chairman of the five-member board that drafted the county charter and led reforms for the government. The charter replaced a county commissioner government with an elected county executive and 11-member council, and Maloney became the first county attorney.

He was elected to the council in 1994 and re-elected in 1998.

"He had one overriding political philosophy: Do the right thing, just do the right thing, and the politics will always take care of itself," said his son, former Del. Timothy F. Maloney of Beltsville.

Mr. Maloney was born in Kansas City, Mo., and moved to Washington in 1937 when his father, Walter H. Maloney Sr., was serving in the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

He attended Sidwell Friends School in Washington and graduated from Georgetown University and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he received a master's degree in law.

In 1973, he was named an administrative law judge at the National Labor Relations Board, where - except for brief stints in private practice and the term as county attorney - he worked from 1959 until his 1994 retirement from federal service. He won national attention for a decision on behalf of workers in the Farah Manufacturing case, which involved the treatment of Texas textile workers.

He was also the author of Our Catholic Roots, a book that profiled 58 historic parishes.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, 11007 Montgomery Road in Beltsville, where he was a daily communicant.

In addition to his wife of 46 years and his son, Mr. Maloney is survived by two other sons, Patrick J. Maloney of Philadelphia and John M. Maloney of Wheaton; three daughters, Eileen Maloney Flynn of Burtonsville, Kathy Maloney Gawne of Millersville and Anne Marie Maloney of Annapolis; and 12 grandchildren.

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