May 11, 2012

Report cleared legislator-veteran of PTSD

The family of Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx, accused of stalking another lawmaker, makes his psychologist's analysis public.

By Steve Mistler
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Alex Cornell du Houx


Ramona Cornell du Houx, mother of Rep. Alex Cornell du Houx, D-Brunswick, released this counselor's report to The Portland Press Herald on the condition that it be published in its entirety. She said the family wanted the report released to rebut contentions that he suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Psychologist's clinical evaluation of du Houx

Thurston wrote that the therapy sessions addressed relationship issues "to reduce stress, improve interpersonal communication so that he may restore trust within his relationship with his girlfriend, and learn how he might prevent relationship problems in the future."

Thurston wrote that Cornell du Houx admitted he was at times "clueless" about his relationship with Herbig and "he has appeared to be naive and superficial in his understanding of intimate interpersonal dynamics."

Thurston wrote that her opinions were developed after 11 individual sessions with Cornell du Houx and one joint session with him and Herbig. All of the sessions appear to have taken place over a recent three-month period.

Thurston noted that Herbig initially believed Cornell du Houx suffered from PTSD.

The summary is dated Feb. 24. A fax cover sheet shows that the evaluation was sent to an Illinois phone number on Feb. 28.

According to Ramona du Houx, her son was speaking at an event in Illinois for the Truman National Security Project on Feb. 28. He was employed by the organization for about 3½ years.

The mother claimed that Herbig expressed concerns to Alex Cornell du Houx's boss about her ex-boyfriend's behavior. The mother said her son presented the evaluation to his boss, Michael Moschella, in an effort to ease misgivings he may have had about employing the combat veteran.

Herbig is listed as a Truman Project partner on the organization's website.

Dave Solimini, a spokesman for the Truman National Security Project, confirmed that Cornell du Houx no longer works for the organization, but refused to say when he left or whether he was asked to resign. Solimini said Herbig is not employed by the organization but remains a dues-paying member.

Ramona du Houx said her son resigned to focus on his re-election campaign. She acknowledged that the situation with Herbig factored into the decision.

Chris MacLean, Herbig's attorney, said Thursday that the evaluation had no effect on his client's case, which he said centers on Cornell du Houx's "outrageous conduct" that included taking photos and videos of Herbig while she slept and stalking and threatening her.

MacLean, who said he has been involved with hundreds of protection-from-abuse cases, claimed that Cornell du Houx's conduct was consistent with abusers who threaten to embarrass and humiliate their victims to prevent them from going public.

"It's a common and sad theme," he said, adding that he has written evidence that Cornell du Houx threatened to humiliate Herbig. He also said he is investigating whether Cornell du Houx or others were using comments on newspaper websites to impugn Herbig's reputation.

Several such comments have appeared with a story in the Bowdoin Orient, the student newspaper at Bowdoin College, Cornell du Houx's alma mater. Some of the comments have been removed by the site's administrator.

A hearing on whether to extend the temporary protection order is scheduled for Monday. MacLean said he and Hamm are discussing the case to determine whether the two sides could come to an agreement.

Hamm said he does not want the story to continue being litigated in the press and remains hopeful that both parties can reach an agreement by Monday.

State House Writer Steve Mistler can be contacted at 791-6345 or at:

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