At the Institute, he was the leader of a third-level group who were defeated by One Charaban's forces in the institute's mock battle competition. They had agreed to end the competition in a stalemate to share the glory but Charaban betrayed him. This defeat tainted him as he left the institute with his reputation tarnished.
As an Obsidian Order operative, Maladek was assigned to the same cell as Elim Garak. They were sent along with the operative Oonal to the planet Tohvun III in a mission to undermine peace talks with the Federation in the Frontier Wars. However, Maladek's disgrace got the better of him and he attempted to expose the operation and Elim Garak's (who was the tactician in Charaban's team) identity as an operative to the Federation. Garak, unbeknownst to him by the will of higher powers in the organization, disgraced Maladek in the eyes of Federation operatives assessing Maladek's reliability and in disgrace Maladek committed suicide. (DS9 novel: A Stitch in Time)