Haines and Smelser oppose Arnick for Baltimore judgeship

February 16, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Carroll's two state senators say they don't think John S. Arnick is the right candidate for a Baltimore County District Court judgeship.

"I think there's enough testimony that he does not have the judicial temperament to sit on the bench," said Sen. Larry E. Haines, a Republican who represents Carroll and Baltimore counties.

During a confirmation hearing last week, Mr. Arnick, a former delegate, was accused of using vulgar and abusive language to describe women and victims of abuse during a dinner with Judith A. Wolfer, an attorney and lobbyist.

After hearing hours of testimony, the Senate Executive Nominations Committee voted 14-4 Friday in favor of his nomination.

The full Senate must vote on Mr. Arnick's confirmation. But Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. said last night that Mr. Arnick has asked the Senate to "suspend consideration of my nomination" pending "further inquiry and investigation" by the committee.

Sen. Charles H. Smelser, a committee member and Democrat who represents Carroll, Frederick and Howard counties, cast one of the votes against Mr. Arnick.

Mr. Smelser said he would vote no again when the full Senate acts because he believes Mr. Arnick does not have the temperament to be a judge.

Mr. Smelser said he had received 50 to 60 calls at his office, eight or 10 on Saturday at his home, and eight or 10 yesterday morning before he left for Annapolis. Almost all were opposed to Mr. Arnick's nomination.

Mr. Haines said he received about 50 calls at his Annapolis office and about 25 at his Westminster office. All but one opposed Mr. Arnick's nomination.

Mr. Haines said he decided to vote against Mr. Arnick based on about three hours of testimony at the committee hearing Friday.

"I think Mr. Arnick's memory loss is not an adequate defense," he said.

Mr. Arnick testified that he could not remember the details about his dinner with Ms. Wolfer.

Mr. Haines said Mr. Arnick likely would withdraw his candidacy if he didn't think he had enough votes to be confirmed.

He said he would support efforts to delay the Senate vote until Nancy Nowak, who also ate dinner with Mr. Arnick the night he allegedly used the offensive language, can be subpoenaed to testify before the Senate.

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