Brunswick lawmaker says his aim is to 'move on'
BRUNSWICK — State Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx said he wants to clear his name, now that the settlement with his ex-fiance, Rep. Erin Herbig, has been made public.
“I didn't want to bring this issue up again, but now that the compromise agreement has been made public, I feel I have an obligation to my constituents to explain why I signed it,” the Brunswick Democrat said Sunday.
The agreement, reached by the pair on May 11, outlines “mutual promises” as they move forward with their lives and careers. Details of the agreement were supposed to remain confidential, but the Bangor Daily News obtained details of the agreement on July 6.
When he learned that the agreement was released, Cornell du Houx said he first thought it was sad that Herbig, a Belfast Democrat, "is not moving on with her life."
But he said he was concerned about voter opinion, too.
“I also worried that my constituents wouldn't understand why I signed such an archaic contract, and I knew I had an obligation to explain the issue to them," he said. "Now I also see it as a chance to help clear my name in the public's eye.”
Herbig and Cornell du Houx are allowed to speak freely about the underlying facts of the case because their pact has been made public.
Cornell du Houx said that had the pair gone to court, details would have emerged about their relationship which, he said, would contradict the claims Herbig made in her request for order for protection from abuse.
He provided The Forecaster with several text messages, e-mails and photographs from his time with Herbig that, he said, prove their relationship began in early 2011 and show that he was not stalking or harassing Herbig.
Cornell du Houx also maintained that there were 17 different “lies” in Herbig's request for protection.
He said he signed the agreement with Herbig to give her peace of mind and so he could move on with his career in the U.S. Navy.
The agreement, among other things, bars Cornell du Houx from entering the city of Belfast for 10 years, unless Herbig moves away, and requires him to give Capitol security at least 48 hours notice prior to his arrival at the Statehouse.
It also required him to withdraw from the election for state representative in District 66 before July 1. He ended his re-election campaign on June 29, but said he withdrew because he wanted to pursue his career as a public affairs officer in the Navy. At the time, he could not disclose that his withdrawal was a term of the agreement because doing so would have violated the agreement, which was still private.
Provisions of the settlement allow for him to run for office again after two years, Cornell du Houx said.
He said that if he decides to run for office, he will likely run for the District 63 seat currently held by Rep. Charles Priest, D-Brunswick, who will leave office in 2014 due to term limits.
According to Cornell du Houx, he did not release the agreement to the Bangor Daily News. He speculated it must have come from someone in Herbig's circle.
Herbig could not be reached for comment on Monday. Her lawyer, Chris MacLean, said he does not know who released the terms of the agreement.
“I have no idea (who released it), other than to say that I didn't provide it to anybody,” he said. “I've got the original document in my possession and I have maintained it in my possession.”
Cornell du Houx said he is ready to leave the episode in his past.
“I want to make it clear to (Herbig) that I intend to honor the provisions of the agreement regarding not contacting her,” he said. “I just want us both to move on.”