Testimony Of John Arnick At Senate Confirmation Hearing

February 16, 1993

The following is the transcript of the questions asked former Del. John S. Arnick on Friday by members of the Senate Executive Nominations Committee, as recorded for The Sun by Betz & Strouse Inc. Mr. Arnick appeared after 49 other witnesses and began by reading a prepared statement, which was published in The Sun Saturday. The hearing was conducted by state Sen. Michael J. Wagner, D-Anne Arundel, chairman of the committee.

Chairman Wagner: Any questions of Judge Arnick. Senator Denis.

Sen. Howard A. Denis, R-Montgomery: Judge Arnick, I hope you realize that no one here is being gratuitous in taking up this matter and this is an attempt to deal with a serious situation that has been presented to us.

It seems to me that from all of the testimony and all of the statements that have been made that there are two John Arnicks -- John Arnick the serious and capable legislator, and the John Arnick who perhaps has a dark side and is capable of engaging in inappropriate conduct. And it is the dark side that I think I would raise questions about temperament, fairness and attitude in all situations.

Now, as I understand your statement, you are not denying any of the assertions, even though the assumption of your defenders, both here today and in conversations throughout the legislature, seems to assume that the statement is correct, but that it was only one incident a year ago.

You also say you were deeply offended by the statement, but I am struck by the fact that you have not denied it.

So I am forced to ask you, did you mean what you said when you said it? Are you aware of anything that you said that night that would be considered inappropriate in any way?

Mr. Arnick: Senator, let me try and back up again. I had been asked to recall an hour or less meeting with an individual or individuals approximately a year ago and what the facts of that conversation was. I have honestly said I don't know. I am under oath, perjury. I could easily say I deny it. That is the easy way out. I am under oath for perjury. A year ago, do any of us remember what we said to our loved ones, let alone strangers in a hour, hour-and-a-half meeting? I really don't know. Could I describe in my statement the method of using the devil's advocate routine? Could have been. I have heard language like that. In the past, when we were first doing the women's rights in '67, opponents came to me and used language like that. We use it in support payments, alimony, many men come and use that language to me.

Senator Denis: So you are saying it is possible that you did make those statements.

Mr. Arnick: I am saying I don't know, senator.

Senator Denis: But you don't recall making those statements?

Mr. Arnick: I am saying, senator, I do not recall the conversation a year ago of my life, out of my life. I do not remember. I do not remember a conversation a year ago probably with anybody.

Senator Denis: It is possible there may have been many other occasions.

Mr. Arnick: It is also possible none of them.

Senator Denis: I am asking.

Mr. Arnick: No, senator, it is not possible.

Senator Denis: It is not possible.

Mr. Arnick: No, sir.

Senator Denis: Is it not possible that you made other inappropriate statements to Nancy Nowak any time in the process of consideration of this legislation?

Mr. Arnick: Not that I am aware of, no.

Senator Denis: Are you aware of any efforts to discourage Nancy Nowak from testifying before this committee?

Mr. Arnick: No, sir.

Senator Denis: Did you appear at the bill signing for the ceremony for the domestic violence bill?

Mr. Arnick: I don't recall, sir.

Senator Denis: You don't recall if you were present?

Mr. Arnick: The bill signing? I remember there was a very large crowd. I don't think I got into the picture thing.

Senator Denis: Do you remember being there?

Mr. Arnick: Yes, upstairs.

Senator Denis: Did you have any other conversation with Nancy Nowak after the bill signing?

Mr. Arnick: I have had many conversations with her.

Senator Denis: Did you follow her out of the governor's reception room and have a conversation with her?

Mr. Arnick: It is possible. I doubt it.

Senator Denis: Do you recall anything inappropriate that you might have said on that occasion?

Mr. Arnick: No, sir.

Senator Denis: No.

Mr. Arnick: At the time, I considered Nancy Nowak a friend. We talked about many things.

Senator Denis: Actually there never came a time when you came to realize or came to believe that you had said or done anything inappropriate?

Mr. Arnick: Nothing by her actions, by her conversations that led me to indicate that she was in any way perturbed.

Senator Denis: If you or anyone else had done or said that which has been testified to and corroborated, would you see anything wrong in it?

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