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Senator Haugen's husband admits attempted kiss, denies assault

State Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen’s husband admitted in court papers that he tried to kiss his wife’s former campaign manager, but he denies allegations that he sexually assaulted her.

Basil Badley, the senator’s husband, has declined to comment publicly on the lawsuit filed against him in Island County Superior Court Nov. 20, 2009. But he responded to each allegation through his attorneys, Tyna Ek and Matthew Miller of the Seattle law firm, Soha & Lang, in obligatory paperwork filed last week with the court.

Badley’s response asks the court to dismiss the complaint and that he be awarded costs and attorney fees for the “frivolous” lawsuit.

Coupeville resident Courtney Jones, Haugen’s former campaign manager, alleged in her lawsuit that Badley made unwanted sexual advances and fondled her. The claim states that Badley is liable for sexual harassment, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and sexual assault and battery. It asks for an undisclosed amount of damages.

Jones worked as Haugen’s campaign manager in 2008.

In the response, Badley denies Jones’ assertion that she lived at Haugen and Badley’s Camano Island home during the campaign. Badley denied Jones’ allegation that he had tried to kiss her following a campaign appreciation dinner on Nov. 23, 2008.

But Badley admits that Jones came over to the home on Dec. 2 of that year for dinner, even though Sen. Haugen was in Olympia. He claims that Jones brought wine with her and was drinking. He admits that he tried to kiss her, but was rebuffed.

Badley denied the rest of Jones’ allegations. She claimed he fondled her breasts and buttocks and put his hands between her legs.

Badley admits sending an email to Jones the next day apologizing and stating he was “not a dirty old man” unless he was drinking, the court documents state. Jones sent an email back accepting his apology.

The lawsuit asks for an undisclosed amount of damages for impaired earning capacity, emotional distress, mental pain and suffering, anxiety, humiliation and embarrassment, and health care expenses related to harassment.

The plaintiff is identified in the lawsuit, written by Seattle attorney Rebecca Roe of Schroeter Goldmark & Bender, only as “C.J.” The details of the plaintiff’s employment make it clear that Jones is the plaintiff.

According to the lawsuit, Jones first worked for Haugen as a policy intern in 2005. In 2006 and 2007, she was a staff member for the Washington State Senate Transportation Committee, which has long been chaired by Haugen.

Badley was an influential lobbyist in Olympia for the insurance industry before he retired five years ago. He married Sen. Haugen in 1990. He’s a graduate of Gonzaga Law School, a former assistant attorney general and a founding partner of the Seattle law firm Carney Badley Spellman.

Haugen, a lifelong Camano Island resident, has been a state senator since 1993. She currently chairs the powerful Senate Transportation Committee.

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