Agreement bars Cornell du Houx from Belfast and State House, says he had to drop re-election bid

Alex Cornell du Houx speaks with the Bangor Daily News in Brunswick May 24, 2012.
Alex Cornell du Houx speaks with the Bangor Daily News in Brunswick May 24, 2012. Buy Photo
Posted July 06, 2012, at 3:20 p.m.
Last modified July 06, 2012, at 9:23 p.m.
Erin Herbig
Erin Herbig
Excerpts from the agreement between Alex Du Houx and Erin Herbig.
Excerpts from the agreement between Alex Du Houx and Erin Herbig.

Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx, the embattled lawmaker from Brunswick who was the subject of a temporary protection from abuse order filed by a fellow lawmaker this spring, is barred from entering the city of Belfast for the next decade and can visit the state Capitol in Augusta only if he alerts Capitol Police 48 hours before his arrival.

More important, the agreement between Cornell du Houx and Erin Herbig, signed on May 11, says he must withdraw from his legislative race by July 1. Until last week, he had maintained he was running for re-election.

In mid-June, Cornell du Houx, a Democrat, said he hadn’t made up his mind about withdrawing, even after the chairman of the Maine Democratic Party publicly urged him to abandon his re-election effort. Other Democratic leaders said they expected him to withdraw that week.

He announced on June 29 that he was ending his campaign for a third term representing District 66 in the Legislature.

In a statement announcing his withdrawal, Cornell du Houx said an active-duty assignment with the U.S. Navy that begins in January would prevent him from serving in the Legislature. Had it not been for the active-duty assignment, Cornell du Houx would still be running, Ramona du Houx, the lawmaker’s mother, wrote recently in an email to the Bangor Daily News.

In addition to having no contact with Herbig, the private agreement, which was obtained by the Bangor Daily News, requires that Cornell du Houx pay all of Herbig’s $9,000 in legal fees and turn over any computer hard drives and data storage devices with pictures of Herbig or “any other women sleeping or in a state of undress” to Herbig’s lawyer.

The agreement also bars both lawmakers from publicly discussing the terms of their settlement, except to say that they’re satisfied with the terms. The document, however, allows Herbig to say Cornell du Houx has abandoned his re-election bid and moved out of state.

Reached on Friday, Cornell du Houx said he regretted that the agreement had been breached, as the terms of the agreement prohibit its public disclosure.

“I thought having an agreement that was meant to be confidential would protect her,” Cornell du Houx said in an email Friday. “I thought we were moving on with our lives.”

Herbig’s attorney, Chris MacLean of Camden, said Herbig looked forward to “moving on with her life” and running for re-election.

“This probably dredges up some difficult issues, but if this has come out and it’s been released, maybe that will allow everyone some closure, and people can move on with their lives at this point,” he said.

The saga began in late April when Herbig, a Democrat who represents District 43, requested a temporary protection from abuse order against Cornell du Houx in Belfast District Court. Herbig claimed that Cornell du Houx had stalked, harassed and threatened her after their relationship ended and and taken photos and video of her sleeping. The order was granted and a hearing was scheduled for May 14.

Maine State Police investigated the matter, but concluded their investigation on May 11 without filing charges and without interviewing Cornell du Houx. Cornell du Houx, Herbig and their lawyers reached the private agreement later that night, and Herbig’s lawyer withdrew the temporary protection order in court on May 14.

Meanwhile, Capitol Police placed restrictions on Cornell du Houx after Herbig filed the temporary protection order to ensure the two had no contact. Cornell du Houx also took a temporary absence from the Legislature in May while lawmakers completed work on the state budget.

Capitol Police Chief Russell Gauvin said Friday he had been advised to expect Cornell du Houx to notify him 48 hours before arriving at the State House and he said he hasn’t heard from or seen the lawmaker in at least a month.

The agreement says that Cornell du Houx maintains his innocence and that Herbig maintains the allegations are true. The restrictions on Cornell du Houx’s presence in Belfast and the State House apply for 10 years unless Herbig moves from Belfast and stops working at the Capitol.

Herbig is seeking re-election to a second term in the Maine House.

The Brunswick Democratic Town Committee, which is charged with nominating a replacement for Cornell du Houx, has scheduled a caucus for July 14 to choose a Democratic candidate.

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