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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Commissioners have removed Commissioner Brian Berger from most of the community boards he sits on. The Commission made the decision at its Agenda Briefing this afternoon. It’s still pending an official vote at Monday’s County Commission meeting.

Berger said he was shocked by what happened and felt ambushed by his fellow commissioners.

“This clearly was not about policy. It was about a personal slight,” Berger said. “That’s just a horrible reflection on the County Commission that the other commissioners would put their personal animosities ahead of the citizens of the county.”

Berger remains on the Legion Sports Complex Commission and the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Transportation Advisory Committee. Commissioner Jason Thompson pointed out both of those bodies include another county commissioner.

“We’ve had multiple discussions about his behavior, about the way his behavior reflects on this board,” Thompson said after the meeting. “And then I know certain boards have talked to him like they’ve talked to us saying, ‘You are gonna have to take him off of here, because he’s not effective.'”

Berger was clearly upset that he was removed from most of the boards he was part of, including CFPUA, DSS, Wilmington Downtown Inc. and Smart Start of New Hanover County. Berger said the leaders of the boards from which he was removed would speak to how effective he’s been to those groups. Thompson disagrees.

“Two chairmen of two of the boards and multiple members of the boards contacted me directly asking for Mr. Berger to be removed, because he’s not effective, he’s not prepared. He shows up late, if he shows up at all,” Thompson said. “If they’re going to get a commissioner, they want to get one that will get something done, and they don’t feel like he’s the one.”

We tried to contact the heads of the groups Berger was pulled from. CFPUA’s Jim Quinn said he would not comment on Berger’s involvement, and that the decision to remove him from the CFPUA was up to the County Commission.

“Clearly it’s the decision of the commissioners,” WDI Executive Director John Hinnant said. “We look forward to seeing who they appoint. Brian was good and active when he showed up, but WDI wants someone who can make all the meetings.”

Berger said he missed several WDI meetings because they conflicted with the DSS meetings. Commissioners decided instead of Berger being part of WDI, they would appoint a county staff member as their representative.

Complaints about Berger’s attendance record are nothing new. He routinely has been late to County Commission and other meetings. Berger arrived just after today’s Agenda Briefing started, but in time for the discussion and votes about representation on commissions and boards.

Following the discussion, Commission Chair Ted Davis asked Berger if he planned to challenge the unofficial decisions at Monday night’s meeting. Berger said he didn’t know why he should bother if the other commissioners were just going to vote against him.

“They’ve ambushed me 4-1, just as they have since I was elected,” Berger said after the meeting. “There’s no point in fighting something out when the outcome is already certain to be 4-1.”

Davis decided that for now the assignments would be placed on the commission’s consent agenda Monday as originally planned.

The move to remove Berger from the community groups comes three weeks after Berger was arrested for a second time this year. Berger was arrested just before Thanksgiving after he attended a Community Action Inc. meeting, which violated a protective order his ex-girlfriend took out on him. Heather Blaylock is a Head Start teacher and works at the Community Action Inc. building. Berger is due back in court next month on the violation charge.

He was arrested in June after a fight with Blaylock. An assault charge was later dropped.

Police also responded to Berger’s home in August after Blaylock called 911 and reported Berger had threatened suicide. In the wake of that incident, fellow commissioners held a news conference calling for Berger to resign. In his own news conference later that week, he refused to resign and blamed the other commissioners for using his personal problems for their political gain.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest20

    Yet again Brian Berger is in complete, total denial that anything is his own fault. I’ve been saying this for months and months, but I’ll say it again….R-E-S-I-G-N!

  • Justin LaNasa

    Sad state of government, when folks like Barfield, Thompson, and Catlyn have to Gang up on a fellow commissioner. Maybe their crooked and he’s not! Thompson and Barfield intimidated voters into voting for the sale taxes 2010 in-fear of losing their jobs so they could balance the budget and keep all their high payed friends sitting in the green.Thompson and Catlyn love to take the city’s & county’s contracts;IE(jobs) and make allot off our taxes payer by biding low on the contract then raising the price to normal or higher amounts.(and this is the process for all their cronies and friends to keep getting all the work)The really sad issue here is not how crooked these folks are. It’s no one is doing anything about it! Do not be Scared!

  • Guest461

    They ALL need to be replaced!
    The Berger diversion tactic is getting old anyway. Don’t worry Barfield, Thompson, Davis and Caitlin…WE won’t forget what you’ve done no matter how hard you try to keep the spotlight off of you!!!

  • Stright Shooter

    It is this hog wash, smoke and mirrors, complete and utter lies that helped to elect this wack-job! Berger has been nothing more than an interruption and an embarrissment to this county. Berger must GO!

  • Sad

    It’s obvious if you’ve watched any of the televised board meetings he has attended — his questions fall into one of two categories:

    1. Rehashed/reworked comments which restate a question or comment already made by someone else.

    2. An original comment/question which comes from outer-space and makes me wish he had just asked something in the first category.

    The pilot light has blown out on this guy’s water heater.

  • straight shooter 2

    Our pathetic county commissioners are at it again. I like how Berger votes but he needs to get himself right. Having said that, let’s not forget the self dealing of the likes of Barfield and Davis. They would like him gone as would Thompson and Catlin so he can’t force the transparency they do not want and clearly fear! We have Titan and higher taxes to contend with because these four self righteous hypocrites are out primarily for enriching themselves. Attacks on Berger with regret divert attention from the way these slimy politicos seek to help themselves and their cabal rather than serve us.
    Let’s rid ourselves of Barfield and Davis next year- and send self righteous Catlin a message by supporting a democrat for the new house seat.

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