"The first is that his judgment was impaired by alcohol. The second is that incidents such as this have occurred so frequently that he doesn't remember any particular one. The third is that he was not being truthful to the committee -- and remember, he was under oath at the time," Mr. Denis said.
"In my estimation, if any one of these is true -- and one of them must be true -- then John Arnick cannot serve on the District
FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION
Ms. Wolfer charged that Mr. Arnick lied to the committee, saying that his statement that he did not know until her testimony last week that she and Ms. Nowak were upset about the dinner "was patently false."
"Nancy Nowak and I told Del. Kenneth Montague about our dinner with Mr. Arnick shortly after it occurred last year. Delegate Montague subsequently spoke with Mr. Arnick about the allegations and personally met with him about them.
"At no time did Mr. Arnick ever apologize to us or acknowledge that conversation," she said.
Mr. Montague, a Baltimore Democrat, could not be reached for comment yesterday. It was reported by The Sun last Wednesday, however, that Mr. Montague confirmed that he spoke to Mr. Arnick about the dinner with the two women.
Ms. Wolfer also said that she and Ms. Nowak contacted Mr. Arnick themselves last year when she thought reporters from The Sun were going to write an article about the incident.
"We personally called Delegate Arnick to warn him about the impending article and to minimize whatever damage might occur to the domestic violence bill," she said. "At that time, he never apologized to us. He never made any comments about his behavior that evening," she said of the telephone conversation. "He was fully informed about our reactions to that dinner at that time."
Ms. Piccinini characterized Mr. Arnick's testimony in legislative terms. "In Annapolis, when you testify 'I can't remember,' that means, 'We've got enough votes,' " she said, suggesting that Mr. Arnick and his backers think his confirmation by the full Senate is secure without a further explanation of his actions.
The failure of Ms. Nowak to appear at the hearing was cited by the four legislators yesterday as a matter of concern.
As the state official in charge of parole and probation, her boss is Gov. William Donald Schaefer, who appointed Mr. Arnick to the bench and reiterated his support for Mr. Arnick last week.
As reported yesterday in The Sun, both Mr. Franchot and Mr. Denis said that they had spoken to Ms. Nowak as late as Thursday and that she told them she planned to testify the next day about other incidents involving Mr. Arnick. The Sun also reported that Ms. Nowak had been prepared to testify that Mr. Arnick routinely called her a "bimbo" and would massage her back and neck despite her efforts to move away from him.
"It is imperative that Nancy Nowak and Ken Montague testify at another hearing," Senator Boergers said. "Unless these questions are answered, there will continue to be a cloud over John Arnick if he becomes a judge.
"And I think the integrity of the Senate is at stake," she said. "People are reacting more to the lack of the correct process than to whatever the outcome is. That's got to be dealt with or there will be long-term damage to the credibility of the Senate." As the news conference broke up, Del. Lawrence A. LaMotte walked by on his way from church.
"This is a witch hunt," the Baltimore County Democrat said. "John Arnick has been tried and found guilty by the press and by people who don't even know him. The people of Baltimore County will be well-served by him as a judge. I am tired and outraged that people are now out promoting their own political agenda."
Meanwhile, Attorney General Curran, who is considered a DTC possible candidate for governor, said he decided to oppose Mr. Arnick's confirmation after reading a printed text of his statement to the Senate committee.
"I was hoping for some sort of credible explanation, but 'I don't remember' doesn't do it," Mr. Curran said.
Mr. Curran, who spent 24 years in the legislature, also said, "It bothers me that some people are saying that everyone in Annapolis uses that kind of dangerous language.
"That's just not true. We have to let it be known that people who talk like this not only shouldn't be judges, they shouldn't be legislators. They should look for some other work," he said.