Berger goes off on StarNews reporter in e-mail

Tags: , , , ,

Submitted: Tue, 01/24/2012 - 8:35pm
Updated: Wed, 01/25/2012 - 6:23pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Brian Berger sent another scathing, rambling manifesto of an email today, this time to StarNews reporter Shannan Bowen.

Monday, Bowen, along with this TV station, did a story on Berger’s vote not to help raise private donations to send to CFPUA that would help people who have had their water turned off. He said instead, the commission should look and change the rate structure…a structure he as a CFPUA Board Member voted to approve back in April.

Below, we have posted the minutes from that meeting. But first, here’s his email to Bowen:

Subject line: Your Last Dishonest Report – Write All the Fiction You Want, I’m Done With Your Hate-Fueled Distortions and Lies.

“But Berger voted last year in favor of CFPUA’s rate model – which included increases in water and sewer rates – when he served on the authority’s board.”

This is straight low level reporting that looks like regurgitated from the CFPUA high-paid PR staff and jason thompson, along with other Board members, CFPUA senior staff…I kee p giving you the benefit of the doubt while you regurgutate the “spin” handed to you without histrocuial context or pre-exisiting knowledge of the issues.

I cant answer questions anymore or discuss policy when the pattern of propaganda and “lost” context, printing spin from PR staff and agenda-driven officials and staff with no chance to respond. I cant give the benefit of the doubt anymore.

The statement quoted above is not accurate, and so convulated that it loses any semblance of factual accueracy presenting this prograganda from a source that should be identified and I can’t rehash six years of work and study I’ve devoted to the CFPUA..only to have dostortions and spin presented to butter up those you see as career-steps and consistent with the WSN’ agenda.

I wont discuss any issue again when the reporter’s agenda is so skewed and superficial and inaccurate, incredibly simplisitic and a nice team effort between a group of elected, appointed and staff officials, and a reporter eager to side with the team of insiders and join their efforts to “spin” news into fiction and interview no other “experts” or allow for a response.

I made room for your lack of knowledge given your newcomer status to these debates…but this is your tenth, roughly in a row biased, uninformed or intentionally misinformed report where your clear agenda is to bash me without regard for facts or honest reporting. I know its complex, but regurgitating “spin” and your clear hostility and agenda to bash me and pay no mind to impartial, accurate reporting, I will not be talking to you again.

Have fun in your club of social climbing, unethical reporters and PR spinsters like Carey Ricks, a lobbyist for the special interests that created and mainain the disaster that is the CFPUA.

I will never answer another question from you, after all the amateur and fictional reporting, hostile and dishonest, and consistent with your nearly perfect record of making everything you write an attack on me. You don’t care about the truth, or accuracy, and don’t bother asking me to participate in your fictional reporting anymore.

Your Agenda is obvious, its dishonest, and today was our last conversation. Your last distorted attack story that ignores 90% of the facts to manipulate the 10-percent to do what you have done for months, EVERYTHING you call a report is just amaterish regurgitation of rumor and lies, while you suck up to fulfill your ambitions with no integrity whatsover.

Case and point, I handed you an exclusive story and because it didn’t make me the total bad guy you never paid it a second thought. Thats not reputable journalism, and your agenda is vicious, indecent, dishonest, and I will never respond to you again. Please do not even contact me again, I pray you learn to appreciate and report the truth or honestly reveal your false reports and gossip – and agenda.

I gave you a chance at an exclusive mere days ago, but I see you tossed it in trash cause the facts werent consistent with the lies you’ve been telling for months. Your little agenda against me cost you a story that might have gotten you some acclaim, real journalism, but you’re just a gossip, mean-spirited, dishonest dime a dozen amatuer, trying to fit in with your constant, biased, fictitious personal attacks with no basis in truth. I offered you a real story with real evidence, but you prefer adolescent gossip…more important to you than the truth.

Fool me 9 times I’ll put up with it. Throw a factual exclusive in the trash to push more vile spiteful attacks at me, and that’s it.

Good luck. Keep your deceitful “reports” coming. I’ve heard less gossip and misplaced rumors in teenagers conversations than in your agenda-driven, weak reporting. I’m ashamed for you. I thought you might have some integrity and talent, but you’ve shown none of either.

Your so blinded by your agenda to attack me, the easy target, you completely passed on the one story that hasn’t been told, the truth, which I was prepared to hand to you, did hand some to you…what a mistake to trust you or even consider you a professional. Your neither.

Brian M. Berger
New Hanover County Commissioner
230 Government Center Drive, Suite 175
Wilmington, NC 28403
office: 910-798-7149
cell: 910-431-3115


CFPUA April 13, 2011 Board Minutes where Berger voted to raise rates…

Revenue Discussion and Vote:

Mr. Smith recommended that the Authority pass an Ordinance for rates to produce a 13.1 revenue increase, for bills generated on or after May 1, 2011. Mr. Sparks seconded the motion.

Ms. Spivey and Mr. Smith answered questions from Authority members regarding efficiencies, debt coverage, and future bond issuance.

Mr. Catlin offered an amendment to the motion stating that the rates could be amended if the pending efficiency study indicated savings that could offset rates. Mr. Smith did not accept the amendment to his motion. Mr. Renzaglia seconded Mr. Catlin’s amendment.

Mr. Renzaglia called the question on the amendment. Ms. Wolf, Ms. Kusek, and Messrs. Renzaglia, Berger, Rivenbark, Quinn, Catlin, Brown, Hearne, and Sparks voted in favor of the amendment. Mr. Smith was opposed. Motion carried, ten to one.

Mr. Renzaglia called the question on the amended motion. Ms. Kusek, Ms. Wolfe and Messrs. Renzaglia, Smith, Rivenbark, Quinn, Catlin, Brown, Hearne, and Sparks voted in favor of the amended motion. Mr. Berger was opposed. Amended motion carried, ten to one.

Rate Tier Discussion and Vote:

Mr. Smith reported that the Committee recognized a desire to increase the gallons available in usage tiers and that there was some sentiment in support of uniform rates.

Mr. Sparks moved to adopt the Ordinance as recommended by the Committee, with the following tier distinctions:

0-12,000 gallons/12,000 – 24,000 gallons/24,001 and over/eliminate fixed charge for irrigation meters where there is a primary water meter.

Mr. Smith seconded the motion.

The Board reviewed what RATE INCREASES would be on “average” bills at each block.

Mr. Catlin expressed concern regarding potential saltwater intrusion into the aquifers stemming from irrigation wells. He offered a substitute motion for a uniform rate without tiers. Mr. Rivenbark seconded the motion.

There was a discussion regarding uniform rates and whether it was appropriate to go to a uniform rate at this time or at a future point. Board members also discussed the increased cost to customers under a uniform rate, and the conservation of water as a natural resource.

Mr. Renzaglia called the question on the substitute motion to adopt a uniform rate with no tiers. Ms. Wolf and Messrs. Berger , Rivenbark, Catlin, and Brown voted in favor of the motion. Ms. Kusek and Messrs. Renzaglia, Smith, Quinn, Sparks, and Hearne voted against the motion. The substitute motion was defeated, six to five.


  • Guest111 says:

    We were DESPERATE to get rid of Caster!! And, as bad as he is, Berger hasn’t cost the county near as much money as Caster did. Do you remember the county selling the old jail and sheriff’s department building, estimated at 8 million dollars for one million? Wow, what could the county have done with 7 million dollars??

  • Great movie says:

    Caster and Berger or as I like to say… Dumb and Dumber

    Hey Brian…
    Just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this…and totally redeem yourself

  • Guest For Real says:

    “Sweet Tea”, the point is that all this sensationalism that Mr. Berger seems all too happy to provide takes away from what those blowhard law-abiders are getting up to when you’re so all-fired in knots over Berger.

    Anyone with two brain cells to rub together can see quite clearly that he IS targeted, while the issues? Not so much.

  • Guest Number 9 says:

    Ker-Pow…Boom…Zowie! The Joker is at it again.

  • ChefnSurf says:

    -Let’s face it, we are totally stuck with Berger. Laugh about it, cry about it, write about it; he just just won’t go away and we can’t make him. All we can do is wait until he either implodes or leaves.
    -What we should be doing right now though is asking our elected representatives to work on instituting legislation that will accommodate the impeachment or recall of future Bergers. Making changes of this type can be a lengthy process so the time to contact them is now. And hold them accountable for actually working towards that end and not just talking about it.
    -Hey, if you think something like this disaster can’t happen again, you must not be getting out very often. It’s already happened once already.

  • Tricia says:

    I truly believe Mr. Berger is a paranoid schizophrenic! It seems as though he feels there is a grand conspiracy against him, by his fellow board members, by the media, by some in the public, etc. Does he have any public supporters anymore? It certainly doesn’t sound like it by reading all the comments shared! And to make things even worse, Berger then sends this ridiculous email that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever! I don’t know whether to laugh at Berger or cry for him…….

  • T Tavenner says:

    Someone please remove his e-mail privileges.
    How much more of this man do we have to put up with.
    I think the reporter should take out an order of protection
    against him. No telling what this man is capable of.
    Why is the commission allowing him to continue? Why have the
    Citizens no formed a recall petition against him.
    Your county, city, and state are being portrayed in a
    Very bad light to your visitors.

    Dump this fool. Please

  • Client Fool says:

    I know it probably couldn’t be applied retroactively, but recall legislation is the only path on this. I’m no conspiracy guy…but his lawyer is Thom Goolsby, so you may not want to start there. Conflict of interest having this man for a client, Mr. Goolsby?

  • Guest111 says:

    Please stop printing all this garbage. If you don’t recognize him he will stop or at least be forced to pay for advertisements to print this. If you ignore him he will go away. You are encouraging his ramblings AND BEHAVIOR by giving attention to his sickness. YOU stop and maybe he will. This is not news. It’s a sick man going public with his illness. YOU PLEASE STOP GIVING HIM FUEL. PLEASE

  • "Dick" Tracy says:

    “Case and point, I handed you an exclusive story and because it didn’t make me the total bad guy you never paid it a second thought”

    If this were true he’d give the exclusive to Curtis Wright first, then Chad Adams and most certainly WECT’s Bob Townsend before he’d ever give it to the Star-News or WWAY. Who’s he kidding, it’s the same conspiracy garbage he been saying all along, if he had something he’d spill it long before this.

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    If you have one ounce of self dignity left please step down. Get your life back together and allow the citizens, you claim to support, and the city you hopefully care about, get back to normal business. This would be the best thing you could do for your supporters and your city at this time. Be reasonable…..

  • Guest9864785 says:

    Do you know what is not complex Mr. Berger? Basic grammar. You are not texting. Apparently you have forgotten what conjunction words are and the fact that you need to use apostrophes. Also remember, proper nouns should be capitalized.

    Speaking of teenagers, this email reminded me of a pre-teen conversation: “I’m not talking to you, you want to know why I’m not talking to you? This is why I am not talking to you. Remember, I am not talking to you. Let me tell you more about why I am not talking to you….”

  • anne says:

    He is right in some aspects. You have shown a continued effort to bring him down and your reporting of the situation is starting to show a slant of persecution. With that being said, he is in need of some type of help and surely there has to be a way to get him out of office. He is a walking time bomb.

    He is not alone. You need to get rid of Barfield and Thompson because they do nothing but aggravate the situation. Find something different to report on. You have been on Berger long enough. Don’t give him the publicity any more. It is not news – it is old news.

  • Challengetheworld says:


    What needs to be done to have a recall election? Enough is Enough ten times over and then some. I cannot even read the rants from Berger anymore, he is so out of touch with reality. He probably is down to about 2 supporters and those are probably relatives. Even if any of his arguments contain merit, they will be ignored because he is suffering from a major mental disability. He will not go away, so please find the legal means necessary (by petition or attorney or court) to have this man stopped. He is an absolute embarassment to all political offices, New Hanover County, Wilmington etc.

    I once heard a judgement in a criminal case that ordered the defendant to leave New Hanovery County. It was something I had never heard before but it was a stalking case and the circumstances did merit a harsh punishment. BERGER DESERVES THE SAME, NOT ONLY SHOULD HE BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE IMMEDIATLEY, HE SHOULD BE BANNED FROM THE ENTIRE COUNTY AND CITY LIMITS – GO AWAY! WE CANNOT STAND YOU ANYMORE!

  • Guest Lee says:

    Brian, haven’t you ever heard that “if you’ve lost your temper, you’ve already lost the argument”?

    You lost your argument from the very first sentence. You’ve also lost credibility, supporters and, apparently, your mind.

    Please go get help, before it’s too late.

  • Guest51 says:

    apparently the only way to remove him is for him to resign or get convicted of a felony…neither of which has happended….I believe that what has gone to trial are misdeamors and the others charges have not been to trial….so I guess we are waiting on his first felony conviction to be him completely going nuts and killing/hurting people.

    the general assembly will have to pass a law to give citizens the option of a recall….Justice already said that she was not considering that, and Goolsby is Bergers attorney (conflict anyone)….so based on that our reps are not going to do anything, so we the citizens of NHC have to sit back and wait….

    and then when he does snap, they will all sit there and declare that their hands are tied…give excuses, bc they don’t want to open that can of worms, maybe they will be recalled as well

  • Straight Shooter says:

    Could not agree more, Berger MUST GO! Our local delegation MUST find a way!

  • Straight Shooter says:

    Birds of a feather flock together as in Berger, McCoy and Wright!

  • Guest333 says:

    I truly believe that Mr. Berger suffers from bipolar disorder. He is driven by a need for attention, and it is impossible to reason with him. It would require the entire NC Legislature to remove him and he won’t resign, because being County Commissioner is the only thing he has left. I would be willing to bet that even his family has washed their hands of him. It’s all really very sad.

  • GuestWONotNot says:

    Sex made Sir Berger crazy.

  • GuestSYP says:

    FACT: There is no legal structure to remove him from office. We are stuck with Berger for the duration.

    FACT: He will continue to make fools of himself and our county government

    FACT: Like playing with a dog’s play toy, the more you provoke him, the more agitated he becomes.

    OPTION:? Totally ignore him! When votes are taken, never mention his name. When he sends a scathing email, don’t print it, don’t comment on it. No TV coverage, No print coverage. No press conferences. Don’t ask him for comments or interviews. He may take up space at counsel meetings, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the world must acknowledge his existence.

    Just think how much extra space there will be in the paper and on this site, to report real news, if Berger no longer “exists in the media”

  • Guest757 says:

    Will Berger ever just shut up and go away… Move to another area..
    This guy is really nuts and needs to leave the area… How about Utah???

  • Peyton Garrett says:

    Just wondering. Can not the board at least censure Mr. Berger? Put something in the minutes, on the record? This just hits a raw nerve with Me. I am not as fluent as Mr. Berger believes himself to be in the law but, either through filing for unemployment benefits and receiving those benefits, is there no fraud involved? If his background is checked further, I would almost bet there are more skeletons than a haunted house. He moves down here from a little farther north and moves right into the thick of things in county politics. Maybe He is here just to do what He is doing. Commit an uproar within county politics. By who? By who K-Blue?

  • Guest28472 says:

    Total nut case!!! With a voice like Pee Wee Herman, one has to wonder why this guy was voted into office in the first place.

  • Guest_99x says:

    Dear “anne”:

    With due respect to both you and guest 461, thank you for the reminders that there is more at fault in our current county government than the actions of Comm. Berger.

  • Sweet Tea says:

    Stop trying to deflect from Berger. I’m sick of hearing that he should be left alone, he’s a public official and thrusts himself in the news. When was the last time one of the sitting NHC commissioners got arrested? Do we read about them committing crimes like driving without insurance or license and totaling someone’s car, lying about collecting unemployment and collecting a check from us taxpayers, abusing their spouse or girlfriends. NO! Because they act like normal law abiding citizens. So what if they are blow hards what politician isn’t, but at least they don’t need a lawyer every week! I read about other officials from other local governments doing bad things and they find themselves on the news, so how can you nut jobs say he’s being targeted. He needs to go period!

  • Guest461 says:

    …nope, no Berger here by any means, but the truth is the truth. Try spotlighting what you so easily have forgotten.

    Are you enjoying your escalated property tax bill this year? Have you attended an actual meeting and asked Thompson a question that will piss him off? Doubtful, or…Have you asked Barfield a question he can actually answer without a bunch of stutter-lipped bullsh*t?

    Nah, you sit on your a$$ and do nothing…that’s okay. Denial of ALL fact is indicative of suppression and weakness of character. Simply another puppet…

  • Betty Ford says:

    What! Is this you again Brian… Put down the gin and pills…please go to sleep before you send another ranting email. The only soaking around here is Berger.

  • Trevor says:

    All of the issues and press aside, I would like to think that an elected official could form proper sentences, use proper punctuation, and be able to follow most basic grammatical rules. His email, to me, looks like it was written while he was inebriated. I even tried to go back and read it aloud, to see if the email was written like it would be spoken, but not even that made much sense.

    I refuse to support, or even have the most minute bit of faith in, a candidate or elected official who can’t even distinguish the situations in which you would use “your” or “you’re”.

    Don’t even get me started on the spelling….. Anyone, who has this much disregard for how they convey their messages to others, has no business representing us. I feel concerned that he has ever had any type of influence on our local government.

  • CHEJ says:

    Stop giving this unworthy elected official the print time and air time and maybe he will fade away. It takes 2 to argue and if the local News organizations would stop airing his “rants” it will make it hard to continue this “childish” behavior he seems to exhibit weekly and sometimes daily in the public eye.
    There has to be more important topics to report on than him. Take the 1st step and STOP reporting and see what happens …at least STOP telling me about it!

  • Bottoms up says:

    I found a new drinking game… We take a drink every time Berger says or writes the word dishonest!

  • Guest461 says:

    If you include the other four commissioners in your little game, you’ll be slobbering, nine-eyed drunk by 5am!

    You people are allowing Berger to soak up all of the spotlight here and forgetting what the other four have done to screw the citizens of this county. I am by no means supporting Berger, but the actual damage to the county created by him is minimal in comparison to Thompson and Barfield in particular. Bully and Fatty are eating this up!

    Never, ever forget…Bullies, Liars and Grunts!!!!

  • Mike T says:

    Two Bergers on the same day. Amazing how similar they talk and look.
    Political blunder must run in the family.

  • TellItAll says:

    Well, he was right about their high paid PR staff…
    Their spokes person )PR) Carey Ricks (according to the starnews online database of county salaries) makes $85,500.00 per year…
    Are you friggin kidding me?
    That lady gets on TV/mediia about 12 times a year and is closing in on one hundred grand a year? Holy cow! where do I sign up?

    that database is located here:

    A direct link to their PR person’s whopping this is why my water bill salary is so high salary is located here:

  • Peyton Garrett says:

    One thing for sure, Brian learned some new words. Regurgitate for one. He used that one more than a mother bird feeding her babies. The meltdown is intensifying. This guy is on the verge of a total breakdown. I believe he is on the PVC cement, huffing away. I agree with the other gentleman. Mr Berger was inebriated or hovering somewhere in that vicinity. I can not believe this one Mr Berger. It is very obvious You do not understand what You are doing or the consequences of these rambling E-Mails. One could almost construe this Response to Ms Bowen as a threat. Berger, You are a sick Man. A delusional, vile little man.

  • guest1791 says:

    Mr. Berger

    If you read these comments, PLEASE resign. I voted for you since you were the republican candidate and there was no apparent reason to not vote for you at the time. I have no ulterior motive regarding local political issues. At some point in time you were thought enough of to be the candidate and had support.

    But don’t you see all your support has disintegrated? Do you not have any respect for the people you represent? Try as you might, you no longer have much respect for yourself and just need to do the right thing for everyone. Staying on as commissioner in hopes of retaining dignity is doing you more harm than good, especially as illustrated in the letter above. Poor grammar and spelling, no rebuttal regarding the reporter’s dishonesty and overall an unprofessional and ignorant letter.

    RESIGN and if you are meant to be in political office, dedicate yourself to studying and practicing the ways of an exceptional leader in hopes of coming back one day better than ever.

  • Will D. says:

    It just hit me like a ton of bricks… Brian Berger hates women. Just review the past emails or incidents, all are lashing out against women. He ranted on the girl in the planning department in an email, he abused his girlfriend, he abused his ex. who works for the county, he goes off on this poor reporter girl. I see a pattern here and it’s sad, this guy has issues with women.

  • Peyton Garrett says:

    He has more issues than just women, though that was a good point. Berger has issues with most everyone he has any kind of interaction with. He apparently has to be drunk to respond to people the way He does and then just whimper back into his hiding place or where ever it is He goes. Amazing. Berger could easily be the focus of some sort of psychiatric study.

  • Matt says:

    How a moron of this proportion can get elected to public office is so beyond me its not funny! He is obviously a sick individual that needs to get help in his personal life, and for that matter his public life. It is a sad sad day when someone like Berger can seep through the cracks, and hold a public office. One more thing, its 2012, and spell check has been around for quite some time Brian! If you are going to write a tirade, at least spell your words correctly….the computer will even do it for you!

  • Das Weibstück says:

    I can sum this up. He is tanked and his spell check isn’t working.

  • Wow says:

    The guy supposedly has a graduate-level education? Hello, diploma mill state?

    Carey Ricks – Brian Berger mano y mano.

    She’d run circles around that half-wit. It would be like having a battle of the wits with an unarmed individual.

    Getting caught in the board minutes…priceless.

  • Carey Ricks says:

    Yes, I make $85,500 a year. It’s public information and no secret. In fact, the information on the Star News website was provided by me. That’s just part of what I do. What you don’t know is what I do between those 12 television interviews. I coordinate internal and external communication for the Authority. I work with other members of staff to produce such things as our multi million dollar Capital Improvement Plan and our Strategic Plan. I coordinate with the development community to expand infrastructure where there is no money otherwise to pay for it. I coordinate with places like Carolina Beach and Figure Eight Island to provide water service to areas whose water quality is threatened with salt water intrusion. I work within the community on behalf of CFPUA and have accomplished such things as over 1,000 pounds of food donated to the food bank and in 2010 I created the CFPUA Assist Neighbors Helping Neighbors program that this station and many others have recently covered. I work with entities like Wilmington, New Hanover County, Pender County, Wilm Industrial Development, DOT, MPO, the Ports etc on such things as infrastructure and economic development of the 421 corridor. And yes, I do television interviews after many phone calls and coordination with the various regional media outlets at all hours of the night, day, and weekend.

  • Carey Ricks says:

    There is ample information on CFPUA’s website to better explain to you why your water bill is what it is. I know, I put it there. That’s part of what I do too.

Leave a Reply