Timothy F. Maloney Spoke At The Maryland State Bar Association Annual Meeting

Principal Timothy F. Maloney was a featured speaker at several educational sessions this past week at the Maryland State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting.

TRUMPING HOME RULE – IS THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TAKING BACK HOME RULE PIECE BY PIECE?  Maloney examined the purpose of Home Rule for counties and municipalities in Maryland and discussed some recent examples of the narrowing of Home Rule by the General Assembly and the Courts through express preemption, conflict preemption, and implied preemption.

SMALL FIRMS HANDLING CONSTITUTIONAL CLAIMS.  Maloney spoke alongside attorney Kathleen Cahill about constitutional torts, and its’ advantages and disadvantages. The session aimed to inform attending attorneys, as well as to open a debate on the topic.

LEGISLATIVE WRAP UP WITH TIM MALONEY. A classic, funny, and substantively compelling wrap up of current legislation and the impact on many practice areas. Everyone loved hearing Tim do his thing!

The annual meeting was held in Ocean City, MD and spanned the course of four days. The event also included a reception for new Maryland judges and several other educational sessions.

Timothy Maloney was quoted on behalf of Prince George’s Hospital Center

Timothy F. Maloney was quoted on behalf of Prince George’s Hospital Center against the development of a new cardiac surgery program at Anne Arundel Medical Center in both The Capital News Gazette and The Baltimore Sun.

Maloney and other lawyers representing Dimensions Healthcare System, the parent company of PGHC, have asked Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Beverly Woodard for a stay of proceedings, arguing that a new cardiac surgery program at AAMC would cause “irreparable harm” to the program already in place at PGHC.

“Don’t believe for a moment this won’t be hurting Prince George’s County,” said Dimensions counsel Timothy Maloney of a cardiac surgery program at AAMC. “I don’t think (PGHC) will be able to overcome this challenge.”

Should Woodard approve the stay, which would last around three months, there will be a judicial review of the state health care commission’s decision to approve the program.  Woodard said that she will make a decision by Friday.

Read more about the case here.

Congress Rebukes HHS for Alleged Violation of Federal Whistleblower Protections

Federal government employees are often in an excellent position to know about waste, fraud and abuse in government programs and to quietly inform others of what they know in order to punish wrongdoing, spur change and save the government vast sums of money. When they inform Congress, for example, about potentially illegal or wasteful practices in their agencies, federal employees are acting as whistleblowers – and they are protected under their own whistleblower statutes.

In a letter that they sent on May 4, 2017, to Thomas E. Price, secretary of Health and Human Services, two Republican legislators took aim at a memorandum that was issued to HHS employees the day before that they say may have a chilling effect on whistleblowers within that department. The memorandum says that all contacts with Congress by department employees must be cleared through the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Legislation.

The authors of the scathing letter are Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), the chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The letter notes, “Federal employees will most certainly read this instruction as a prohibition against direct communications with Congress without permission. As such, it is potentially illegal and unconstitutional, and will likely chill protected disclosures of waste, fraud, and abuse.”

The letter refers to a 1912 statute, which is still in effect, that specifically protects federal employees’ rights “to petition Congress or a Member of Congress, or to furnish information to either House of Congress, or to a committee thereof.” It also refers to the “Grassley anti-gag rider,” a provision of law enacted in the 1980s that also protects government employees’ rights to speak out.

The letter notes that the internal HHS memorandum “contains no exception whatsoever for lawful, protected communications with Congress. In its current form, employees are likely to interpret it as a prohibition, and will not necessarily understand their rights. The Grassley anti-gag rider and the associated [Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act] provision are designed to ensure that employees understand that any such agency policy does not supersede the protections afforded them by statute and the Constitution. These provisions are significant because they ensure that attention can be brought to problems in the Executive Branch that need to be fixed. Protecting whistleblowers who courageously speak out is not a partisan issue — it is critical to the functioning of our government.”

The department has not yet responded to the May 4 letter. We will be watching for a response in the interest of ensuring that the rights of federal government whistleblowers remain fully protected.

The letter to Secretary Price can be found here, and a May 9, 2017, article on the subject from the Washington Post can be found here.

Holland and Maloney Help Send Roosevelt Students to Japan

With help and sponsorship from JGL attorneys Jay Holland and Timothy Maloney, the Quantum Companies/Beltway Plaza Shopping Center raised a total of $8,000 over the course of the weekend of April 28 for the science student exchange program at Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt.

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken Restaurant at the Beltway Plaza Shopping Center sponsored the fundraiser as well. Quantum Companies’ Bionic Man Champion presented the check to the students and the Assistant to the Principal.

Please join us in congratulating the students of Eleanor Roosevelt High School on their achievement, and wish them luck as they travel to Japan to study STEM with their high school colleagues.