June 23, 2018
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Temporary protection order lifted in midcoast lawmakers’ breakup

Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx, D-Brunwick, and Rep. Erin Herbig, D-Belfast, in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 2011, to attend a private reception with President Barack Obama and to meet with members of the Obama administration at the White House.
By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

BELFAST, Maine — A temporary protection order filed by one lawmaker against another after a romantic breakup turned bad was dropped late Monday morning, according to officials at Belfast District Court.

The two Democratic representatives reached a private agreement late Friday that satisfied the safety concerns of Rep. Erin Herbig, who had filed the order against Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx.

“She’s really happy to have the matter behind her,” Herbig’s attorney, Chris MacLean of Camden, said Monday. “She’s really looking forward to returning to Augusta tomorrow to resume her duties in the Legislature, to serve her constituents. The distractions of the last couple of months will be gone.”

Cornell du Houx wrote Monday in an email that he was “very satisfied” with the agreement and that the temporary order was withdrawn.

The terms of the agreement were not disclosed by either lawmaker. It was not filed in court, but MacLean said that it is a legally binding document.

After MacLean filed the stipulation of dismissal for the protection from abuse action, the hearing for a permanent protection order that had been scheduled for Monday afternoon was canceled.

Judge Patrick Ende signed the termination of the protection from abuse order.

According to Maine State Police spokesman Steve McCausland, police on Friday ended their investigation of Cornell du Houx. No charges were filed against him.

“Nor will they be,” McCausland said.

In her request for the order last last month, Herbig, of Belfast, said that the Brunswick lawmaker threatened, harassed and stalked her after their romantic relationship ended.

She wrote, “I have been concerned for my safety for the last several months and am terrified now.”

According to Herbig, Cornell du Houx had blocked in her car at the State House parking lot, followed her around the State House and had packages delivered to her. She also wrote that he had taken photos and video of her sleeping and that the former Marine threatened to “use his military tactics” on her to get her to drop her complaints against him.

Judge Patricia Worth granted the temporary request to Herbig on April 30, and it was served on Cornell du Houx the next day by Brunswick police.

But Cornell du Houx said in an email sent to the Bangor Daily News after the order was served that Herbig’s description of events was incorrect.

“We lived together for almost a year and were engaged to be married and I have the highest respect for Erin. Her statement is completely false,” he wrote. “This is a personal matter between Erin and myself over an engagement that sadly did not work. This is just a messy breakup of a loving couple.”

In her request for a temporary protection order, Herbig wrote that their relationship lasted from late 2011 through early 2012.

MacLean said that the couple never lived together.

When asked if he planned to resign from the Legislature, Cornell du Houx said that he will be there until January and plans to run for re-election.

The lawmaker most recently has been working for the Truman National Security Project, which calls itself a national security leadership institute.

According to Cornell du Houx, he was commissioned into the Navy Reserves in December and now is working as a public affairs officer stationed in Bangor. He said he will remain a Brunswick resident.

“I have served and continue to serve our country in the military since 2002 and the people of Brunswick in the legislature simultaneously since 2008,” he wrote.

Cornell du Houx said that he attended the ribbon cutting Monday for Amtrak coming to Brunswick but will be taking an excused absence from the Legislature for the “next few days.”

The Legislature meets this week for a short session to finish budget work.

“I wanted to calm the situation so everyone can focus on working for the people of Maine,” he said Saturday.

MacLean said that the lawmaker’s absence has positive repercussions for his client.

“She’ll be back on the job tomorrow. Alex won’t be there,” the attorney said. “I think that it is a relief for her.”

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