Katrina Baker and her husband, Washington County Commissioners President Terry L. Baker, may soon be getting divorced.
In early September, attorneys representing Katrina Baker – Mary M. Drawbaugh and Chelsea Kadish of Haspel, McLeod & Drawbaugh, P.C. – filed a divorce petition on her behalf in Washington County Circuit Court.
The divorce petition claims that Katrina Baker’s husband Terry Baker “has at various times and places, committed the act of adultery” and “engaged in a persistent pattern of financial and emotional abuse.”
The petition further states that if Mrs. Baker wants to “preserve her health, safety and self-respect,” she can no longer live with her husband because of his “financial and emotional abuse and his control and dominating conduct.”
Katrina Baker claims Terry Baker has endangered her “health, safety and self-respect and has caused her to reasonably fear that her health and well-being are in jeopardy.”
There is no reasonable hope or expectation of reconciliation between the parties, the petition states.
When reached for comment last Monday on a separate matter involving Terry Baker, D. Bruce Poole, Terry Baker’s attorney, wrote in an email to A Miner Detail that “some of Mrs. Baker’s claims are not true,” ostensibly referring to Katrina Baker’s divorce complaint.
Poole wrote that he drafted an “Answer,” to Katrina Baker’s divorce complaint, which he would file the following week.
“Ryan-I am headed out to a law conference and won’t be back in until next Monday. I have not had the chance to speak with Terry. I have drafted an Answer, which will be filed next week. It tells Mr. Baker’s side of the story pretty well. I am certain that some of Mrs. Baker’s claims are not true. I hope you will wait to read Terry’s Answer,” Poole wrote in an email to A Miner Detail.
On July 24, Katrina Baker filed a temporary protractive order against her husband, Terry Baker, accusing the third-term Republican commissioner of slapping her in the face, stalking her and verbally abusing her over two separate incidents in July – one at their Frost, W.Va. home and another at their Clear Spring home on Bakers Lane.
Baker, through Poole, denies that he assaulted his wife.
Standing by her charges that Terry Baker, 62, slapped her in early July, Katrina Baker decided to withdraw her protective order after negotiating a separation agreement with her husband.
But Terry Baker refuses to sign the agreement, Mrs. Baker told Miner Detail in late September.
“I only withdrew my petition for a protective order on July 26 because Terry and his attorney, Bruce Poole, promised that Terry would sign a temporary separation agreement with me. He said he would comply with the terms that we outlined and both agreed upon,” Katrina Baker said.
“Terry still won’t sign the agreement and now we’re back at square one. We have no agreement in place.”
Terry Baker could not be reached for comment for this story.
Washington County attorney Joseph S. Michael assisted Katrina Baker with drafting a temporary separation agreement, influencing her to withdraw her protection order and refrain from filing criminal assault charges against her husband in West Virginia.
Among the requests in Katrina Baker’s divorce petition: Terry Baker be ordered to pay her alimony, maintain her on his health, dental and vison insurance, return any non-martial property and transfer ownership of interests in pension, retirement, profit sharing, deferred compensation plans and stock options to Mrs. Baker.
The couple divorced previously years ago and eventually remarried.
Terry Baker is a retired public schools’ teacher and is seeking his fourth term on the commissioner board in the November general election.
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