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Berger won't resign; blames other commissioners for distractions

READ MORE: Berger won't resign; blames other commissioners for distractions

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A day after his fellow commissioners called for his resignation, New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger held a news conference of his own this evening. Despite what his colleagues want, a defiant Berger said he would not resign and blamed the other commissioners for the distractions caused by his personal life becoming public.

"I'm not gonna let individuals on the board, who for quite some time have had different ideas about the direction New Hanover County is going dictate to me whether or not I should be on the board," Berger said. "The reality is they were not among my supporters, but it is the people who elected me I have a responsibility to serve, as well as the people who did not vote for me. I take that responsibility seriously. I don't do a perfect job. I'm human. Fallible. I believe I have been an effective commissioner and will be more effective moving forward."

Berger said his presence on the commission has sparked debate and protected taxpayers against potentially harmful policies. He said without him he has no confidence that would continue.

"I know I do a very effective job when it comes to informing the public and making sure the public is aware of decision being made that affect their lives and their wallets," Berger said.

Berger also blamed his fellow board members for the distractions affecting the commission, claiming they have tried to exploit his personal issues for political gain.

"In hindsight, I've made some pretty stupid decisions in my personal life, but the constant hand-wringing and attention some other members of the board have devoted to my private life has in fact created a distraction the actual events did not create," Berger said.

Berger did apologize to the Wilmington Police Department and Chief Ralph Evangelous for saying the department lied on a report about the suicide attempt at Berger's home last week.

"If my e-mail was worded poorly, I apologize," Berger said.

Berger also explained why he did not address his recent personal issues at Tuesday's County Commission meeting. He said that discussing his personal problems was not appropriate for a regular commission meeting, and that he was not going to drag down the board from discussing the issues on the agenda by bringing them up. He said he always planned to talk about them after Tuesday's meeting, despite the fact he told WWAY Monday he might talk about them at Tuesday's meeting. Berger also told WWAY Monday he was considering resigning, but wanted to talk to the other commissioners first.

"I can say unequivocally that that week was an aberration," Berger said of the two run-ins with police last week. "If I was to resign because of some issues in my personal life, which I am addressing in private where they belong, then isn't valid to ask for the resignation of commissioners who threaten violence against other elected officials and members of the general public?"

Berger was clearly referring to incidents involving Jason Thompson and Jonathan Barfield several months ago. Thompson invited Leland Mayor Walter Futch into the parking lot during a meeting on transportation issues. New Hanover County School Board members claimed Barfield threatened them over issues they disagreed with him on.

Berger said he is insulted by comments Barfield has made that he worries about threats to safety from Berger. Berger said he has no history of violence. He said while violence may be "the style" of other commissioners, it is not his.

Berger asked for forgiveness from citizens after apologizing for exposing them to "some aberrant and erratic behavior in my personal life."

"I'm not a very good politician. I'm not a politician at all. I don't have the charisma politicians usually have or the articulation, but I am sincere and genuine, and my comments this evening are just that," Berger said.

Despite the apology Berger refused to explain what led to him winding up in the hospital after the reported suicide attempt. He also refused to answer questions many residents and county employees have raised about how the judgment he has shown in his personal life may translate to his ability to govern.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Will Ben McKoy be doing another Rant?

Who will he blame this time? Funny, I havent heard a peep from him or seen him online on the StarNews expressing his outrage..sound like someone trying to distance themselves from their candidate???


Berger burned the last bridges he had with fellow commissioners Tuesday night. His prior public comments about what he was going to discuss with fellow commissioners never saw the light of day because his 4 CONTROLERS, dressed in bright red shirts were in the audiance to keep Berger from straying from their appointed path. I was at the meeting but was not aware of who these 4 people were till after the meeting. I don't know if they are visable on the video tape of the meeting. Talk about intimidation.

This guy is a class act!

Even when everyone is seemingly out to get him, Mr. Burger handles the situation in a classy, humble, and gracious manner. I mean when's the last time you heard a politician admit that he's "not a very good politican at all"? He's got my vote, come next election.

To BurgerFan....This IS YOU

To BurgerFan....This IS YOU posting Brian, isn't it? Trying to sneak one in by misspelling your name? Please resign. It is what the people of this county want.

Thanks for Posting

Give me a break "BergerFan1982" - I am seriously starting to think that since Mr. Berger has so much time on his hands HE IS POSTING for his on support. You must be kidding about saying he is "classy". There is nothing classy about hacking up your arm, lashing out against the police and stalking your ex-girlfriend. This guy has no class, no professionalism and no chance of ever getting elected anywhere in this area again. He has made a joke out of the office of County Commisioner and any of his supporters should start seeing their own phsyicians for mental treatment.

What a joke - Berger, go away.


You're as nutty as he is. How can you vote for someone who carves their arms like a Thanksgiving turkey, texts their ex-girlfriend over 120 text messages threatening suicide, has an hour and a half standoff with Police then lies about the Police, pulls the door handle off his girlfriends car, draws unemployment from another state while getting paid as a county commissioner, and hasn't got the sense God gave a goose to resign when over 80% of the voters who elected you are calling for your resignation?

The only truth he HAS told lately has been that he's "not a very good politican at all". Class act? What a fruitcake!

We All Have Problems

Let the man who is without sin, cast the first stone.
If this was 99% of the rest of us, it would not even be a news story.


Proverbs 31:9 says, "Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy."

Even the devil himself can quote scripture for his own purpose.


"A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.” Mr. Berger has failed the objective. He can't even help himself.

It's a news story because he is a PUBLIC figure and he makes decisions which affect ALL of us. I don't trust him to make decisions for me.

The Berger File

You are half right. Mr. Berger is an act. A freak show.

You're just as stupid as he is

You're just as stupid as Berger is....LEARN HOW TO SPELL HIS NAME if you're going to have your nose shoved that far up his behind.

Back down Berger

Mr. Berger,
As a member of the voting public that you think your presence is 'defending' by staying in office, I give you my enthusiastic permission
to quit. I think I will be much better off without your truly erratic and strange behavior and garbled logic.

Berger, please resign!!!


The citizens who voted for you, including myself, believe that its best that you resign. If you really cared about New Hanover County, you would resign. You are doing us a lot of harm. Do whats best, swallow your pride, step down, and get your life in order.


Stop giving this clown attention , all you're doing if feeding his ego.

Ne needs it

I'm beginning to think that Mr. Berger needs this bad attention as much as he needs to carve his arms. I think it gives him the reassurance that he is a bad boy and needs to be punished.