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Berger released from jail after being arrested for failure to appear

READ MORE: Berger in jail after failing to appear; judge orders mental evaluation

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Brian Berger was back behind bars Friday. The New Hanover County Commissioner was arrested this morning after he failed to appear in court.

Berger is no stranger to running behind schedule, but today there was a serious price to pay for his tardiness.

For more than half an hour sheriff's deputies walked around Berger's home Friday morning after he did not show up to court. After finally making contact with him, officers arrested Berger for failure to appear.

The deputies said Berger thanked them for their professionalism, but they did not discuss why he had not made it to court.

Downtown, court waited on Berger. He was scheduled to appear at 9:30 a.m. for a violation of a domestic violence protective order filed by his ex-girlfriend Heather Blaylock, who was in the courtroom.

Fellow County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield was subpoenaed to testify. He waited more than an hour before the judge let him and other witnesses go. Barfield said he had a busy day, which was wasted waiting for Berger.

"We're wasting taxpayers' dollars," Barfield said. "For those of community action who are just sitting here for the last hour and a half, those folks could have been at work as well doing their jobs. So I just see it as a total lack of respect and disregard for other people's time."

Almost two hours after the hearing was scheduled to begin, Berger finally arrived at the court house in hand cuffs. Judge Shelly Holt quickly issued a $25,000 secured bond pending a forensic evaluation for competency. The evaluation must be done within seven days. The judge may then revisit the bond depending on the results.

The sheriff's office says Berger's case was handled according to protocol.

"Mr. Berger has had issues in court the past couple of months, and we've tried to address those equally the way we do with anybody else," Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer said.

We tried to talk to Commissioner Berger's attorney Thom Goolsby after the bond hearing, but he declined to comment.

Berger posted bond Friday night and was released from the New Hanover County Detention Facility. He is due back in court Tuesday morning.

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.


Lynch Mob

I don't know the guy and I will not judge... Let me say this, though, it certainly seems like a Lynch Mob going after this guy. There's so much worse going on in Wilmington, don't you think this guy has had enough persecution?

The Berger File:

No, not until He man's up and resigns from the County Board. There is no Lynch Mob. Just citizens who have had enough of His behavior which by the way, He has brought upon Himself. If You think He should be coddled, that is Your decision and your right.

Berger-Fried Tsunami

A Mental evaluation for this troubled individual should have been ordered long ago. the type of raging narcissistic behavior painfully evident here is ingrained into a persons DNA; mistakes and legal/financial troubles are usually covered up with excuses, money or both.

I met this character many years ago and my opinion hasn't changed much: a spoiled man-child who was over-indulged by wealthy egotistical parents who's lot in life was obsessively making money and excuses for this jerk. I immediately thought he was a "know it all" who hasn't worked a day in his life...and has his sights on the CEO position when he was barely qualified for the mail-room.

Oh, he can string a sentence together...but most pathological charlatans can. Mix in a little schizoid "word salad" and a UN-healthy dose of paranoia, alcohol, rage, parental indulgence, and narcissism...and you've got a walking talking screwball with one thing on his mind: trying to prove how much he knows while dispelling his critics...creating false firestorms, lies and hacks about his real or imagined enemies.

The board should have taken action against this menace long ago...but they probably won't because they don't have an individual or a collective spine to take a stand. I wonder what actual work is being performed by the board,(if at all). Can't help but wonder why the entire board hasn't been audited for their performance, and for wasting taxpayer dollars in this dime-store charade.

I suggest you put on the old 33 1/3 of "Riders on the Storm" and listen closely. It may be a for bearer of things to come.

Jonny Blaznolis

Jimmy Crack Corn~

and I don't care!

Domestic Abuse

In my humble opinion, anyone who is being charged with domestic abuse should immediately be ordered to undergo a psychiatric evalution while they are still in the same state of mind which allowed them to act out in the first place. Plus, when one attempts a suicide, it ought to warrant a miminum of a three day minimum involuntary mental evaluation.
It's sad that a grown man cannot even make himself behave knowing that there are many eyes watching what he does next. Perhaps it IS because he is mentally unstable, in which case he should immediately be removed from office until such a time that he is deemed mentally fit to serve again.
Finally, no one should be excused for bad courthouse antics; this time for being late for court. As the article points out, he's has had issues with the court before. A contempt of court charge should have been levied. He's not that much of a VIP that he can just stroll into court whenever it's convenient for him.

Dear Self Righteous Wway-TV-3 lynch mob!

the true religious side of you comes out!

are you quoting

"run thou mouth"

"come gather at the hypocrite well"

check any mirror to find your true self

This Post is too Stupid to answer!

Got to be one of the very few Berger supporters left!

schizophrenia/paranoid-yep he is

Needs treatment

Diagnosis from Mrs. James:

Schizophrenia Treatment

he is parnoid for real.

No, No, No send him packing

I have lived here 60 years and we have never ever had anyone act onlike this-well maybe Jason but, I like him because he gets it straight and admits when he is wrong. This guy is just out of his ever loving mind.

He has been given more time to make amends than one should. And it is not his odd character, it is him. When one tries to put blame on everyone else and comes with a bag of excuses it is usually self inflicted wounds. He has problems. Really he needs a couple of months in OAKS court ordered since he does not get the Judge's point on this. So, Goolsby see what Judge says now? You will not win this one believe me. And Ms. James does not play. Been here too long so get this man under care.

Ben McCoy should be next for a mental evaluation!!!!

For continually supporting and defending this idiot!

Give it up already, Pea

Give it up already, Pea Shooter. Your boy Caster was so bad that no matter what Brian has done, the county is still in better shape than had that geezer been re-elected. Hang Sandusky by the NUTS.

Wow!! What a childish IDIOT!

Stupid is forever!!

Sorry to hurt you with the

Sorry to hurt you with the truth, Shooter.... the county is still better off with Brian than the guy he defeated in the runoff election. I have an idea for you and yours, shooter.... Pool your $$$ and put a bid in on the Rhino Club property downtown. You can save some money on the signage by shortening the name to match Brian's predecessor's description: RINO

The truth, that's funny!

Let's take this slowly so you can understand. Bill Caster had a successful career with US Coast Guard and retired as an officer. Brian Berger has no successful anything and has been on unemployment. Bill Caster started and managed several successful businesses, one of them being Play it Again Sports. Brian Berger, nothing, he is on unemployment. Bill Caster was an honest man, served this county well and with respect for over two decades, Brian Berger has clearly shown us that he is dishonest and totally wacked out and has brought nothing but disrespect to the county. What ever disagreement you may have had with Caster, remember he was one of five votes on the commission. So how are we better off with Berger? You only state that it's because he is younger. What an Idiot!

Berger, Berger!!!

No! he knew the cost of being a public official and he knew his responsibility including being on time and at meetings vital to our city and county. If he has medical problems then he needs to get this task in order and get help. He has time and time again gone against common sense. Sorry but he has been given more than most citizens understanding from citizens, media, law enforcement and officials in government. Being in a certain party has nothing to do with accountability in this particular case. He disregarded a judge's order. Sorry Berer be glad I am not a Judge. You would either serve time or get mental evaluation and time in the OAKS!! Plus excused from your position for good.

It makes you wonder.

The photo gives one cause to ponder the view. The Public Information Officer, Sgt. Brewer, was the leader of the arrest team?
"Mr. Berger has had issues in court the past couple of months, and we've tried to address those equally the way we do with anybody else," Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Jerry Brewer said.
It makes you wonder if this is a publicity effort or professional equal treatment by a sheriff's department? One must further consider if Sgt Brewer will be the lead on all major arrests in the future; how are we to get "just the facts" from the department?

Native - I talked with Sgt.

Native - I talked with Sgt. Brewer for a little bit here at the TV station this afternoon.

He told me he's built a rapport with Mr. Berger during the times he's had to be arrested or in the courthouse.

Brewer says that he's told Berger that he'll shoot straight with him and try to help him any way he can.

In fact, Brewer is rarely directly involved in cases like this and today couldn't reveal everything that was going on at that particular moment or couldn't take our calls because he was tied up with Berger.

Sheriff McMahon, I'm sure, is aware of their relationship and sent Brewer in case Berger was in any trouble.


Scott Pickey
WWAY News Director


I'm afraid that once Berger finds out that Sgt. Brewer is talking to WWAY, the "rapport" that they had will be severed. Everyone knows that Berger is upset with WWAY right now, and after he reads this article, I think he'll stop confiding so much to Sgt. Brewer.

If Berger actually continues to talk with Sgt. Brewer after this article, he would indeed be admiting that he needs a mental evaluation.

I'm always suspicious when

I'm always suspicious when someone says "everyone knows...." The truth is you don't know. You don't have all the facts, you aren't Sgt. Brewer, and you aren't Commissioner Berger. Like most folks here, you're just yammering away like an old gossip.

Yes, I Do Know

Yes, I do know. What I said was that everyone knows that Berger is upset with WWAY right now. I was directing those comments to anyone who reads this forum on a regular basis.

There was an article that WWAY posted not long ago where Berger ranted and raved and said he would NEVER talk with them again. Most people on this forum read that article. I guess you didn't.

That specific sentence wasn't commenting on the situation with Sgt. Brewer. It was commenting on the way Berger feels about WWAY. You really have a terrible reading comprehension problem. You should probably get some help with that.

BTW, it's not gossip if it's the truth.

Berger Diet

In the slammer for a least 7 days. Hope this means we are going on a NO Berger Diet and wont have any Berger to digest for a while on this site.
Getting tired of him.

what makes him any different

what makes him any different from anyone else. he should be in jail for failure to appear just like anyone else.Do the courts or judges arrest anyone else an take them straight to court,then ordered a mental evaluation. No,they are arrested,taken to jail,an either make bail,or sit in jail until their court date.I guess it is true MONEY AN POWER takes care of everything. It's not what u know it's who u know, Anyone straight off the streets would never been offered a chance. OFF TO JAIL.

That's the thing - if they

That's the thing - if they do this for HIM, they need to do it for EVERY failure to appear, every time. They don't. Most times the judge will simply issue a bench warrant and send the witnesses and victims home, only to return for the next court date.


I will tell you one thing for sure. I live around some mean mean mean heartless individuals. This man is not the best person to be in office, I will surely admit that, but he is still a human being. I think his break-up with his girlfriend has sent him over the edge and he has had some sort of mental/nervous breakdown. The same thing happened to Britney Spears, Charlie Sheen, and now Demi Moore. It could happen to any one of you. He is hurting inside and you all are making fun of him constantly.Several people have killed themselves from being bullied on the internet. If Mr. Berger kills himself will you all be satisfied? Or will you be able to live with yourselves knowing you might have contributed to it? All because he is not the best councilman ever !!!


I also have to agree....local reporters and government and individuals are constantly waiting , just waiting for Berger to draw a breath and bingo....they critique. Leave the guy alone for pete's sake!! Get a life. He has the entire world practically lying in wait and finding fault. Has he any friends? If so, you need to rally around him and guide him as I too think he is feeling the weight of all the hatred. After all, it must feel real good and elevate the very lives of trashy people that can't seem to care for him in any regard and who haven't a life themselves. Say a prayer, and don't keep kicking a man when he's down. Let up, be kind to one another, you wouldn't like the feeling of it all I'm sure.

Public Outcry

I think most people would LOVE to leave Berger alone and never hear his name mentioned again. However, Berger makes that impossible by constantly saying or doing something outrageous to call attention to himself every few weeks.

I feel sorry for the guy, but I'm not going to stop posting about him. How can public officials and the courts continue to not respond when they keep hearing a consistently loud outcry from the public to get this man some help? It may be that the public outcry is what will eventually save Berger from himself. In the long run, public outcry may be the best thing that ever happened to Berger.

Get him help

This man is crying out for help!!!!! It is evident that there is something seriously wrong with him. I used to think he was just thumbing his nose at the good ole boy network, but he has proven that something is seriously wrong. There has to be a way to get him out of office. No one deserves this type of representation and we should not have to put up with it any longer. I think he has become a danger to himself and to all around him.

But in saying that, there are a couple of others - Barfield and Thompson that need to go too. Hopefully come election time, people will recognize the fact that these are egotists who have their own agenda and it is not the best interest of the people their are representing.

Get Him Help

You nailed the evaluation, Anne...thanks for the post! I'm so glad I live down the road in Calabash but trust me...some of our "leaders" are equally disoriented...from Calabash to Hanover County to North Carolina to the east coast to the nation to the western hemisphere to the entire world.

Brian Berger in jail after fail;ing to appear

I think he should run for governor.