WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Commissioners have asked for county commissioner Brian Berger to resign.
Speaking on behalf of his fellow commissioners who stood by him at a news conference, Commission Chair Jonathan Barfield said he asked Berger to resign Wednesday because his many issues have become a distraction.
Barfield said people around the state have asked him what the recall procedure is for New Hanover County, but the county does not have a process under law.
“I just want him to get well,” Barfield said.
Vice Chairman Jason Thompson said he has talked to Berger about getting back on track, but there has been no follow through.
Commissioner Rick Catlin said the decision to ask Berger to resign comes after much consideration and a long series of events. Catlin said Berger’s inability to address his issues leaves the board no choice.
Commissioner Ted Davis said he has not seen anything like this in his 15 years as a commissioner.
“He first has got to acknowledge he has a problem,” Davis said. “He needs to man up and get the help he needs.”
If Berger chooses to resign, the New Hanover County Republican Party would nominate a replacement, but so far Berger has shown no indication he will step down. Wednesday night Berger released this statement:
“This statement is in response to the four members of the County Board of Commissioners who met, called a press conference and requested my resignation as a Member of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. The past few weeks have presented a number of challenges and difficulties in my personal life. I am sure that many of you can understand unexpected circumstances that may arise in our day to day lives that cause one to react in ways that they may not under ordinary conditions.
“I extend my apologies to the citizens of New Hanover County for any way in which the challenges of my normally quiet personal life impacted them. November 2010, I was elected by the people of New Hanover County to serve as their representative on the Board of County Commissioners; I look forward to continuing my service to our community. To all of you who have prayed for me and offered words of support and encouragement during this time, please know that I am truly appreciative.”
Berger’s fellow commissioners said they came to the conclusion that he needs to resign after last night’s commission meeting. They say they expected Berger to address the latest issues, including his criticism of the Wilmington Police Department. He did not.
Berger told WWAY Monday evening he was considering resigning after two more incidents last week in which police were called to his house for an attempted suicide and four nights later to his ex-girlfriend’s home after the couple met to work out their differences.
Berger also said he may discuss his situation at Tuesday’s commission meeting. However, Berger was quiet for much of the evening. At the end of the meeting during a period for commissioner’s comments, Berger reminded everyone to take time to remember the people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, as the country gets ready to mark the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks.