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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.

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"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,"
Equally??!! excuse me!!??? Since when does an FTA on a farcical "domestic battery" that was little more than an argument with one's girlfriend warrant an immediate execution of bench warrant? If the county executed those "equally" the jails would be overflowing with those kinds of trivial persecutions.

Does Burger obtain this kind of "special" treatment explicitly because he is a county commissioner who doesn't tow the party line? This does NOT look good to those of the general public who are not happy with this current administration. This is really starting to LOOK like a good 'ol boys network who are used to getting what they want and are even dropping all pretenses about keeping it under wraps. Any fool can see that now...

There are those out there watching this with a very jaundiced eye, commissioners. Very jaundiced indeed....

I agree. It is time to

I agree. It is time to pressure the courts to do this for EVERY FTA, EVERY time. Trust me, they don't.

Liability to our community

Regardless of your affiliation, I think it is unanimous across the political spectrum that he has been a liability and an embarassment to our community.All responses from and participation by Mr. Berger in county business should be disregarded due to his mental state.I am a conservative but I will freely admit when the Republican Party got it wrong by initially promoting his candidacy.Time is up Mr.Berger, your legitmacy and holding yourself up to higher standard as a county commissioner has been destroyed.You give a black eye to people in public service.This is a unstable individual, who has much bigger concerns than holding public office.The mental illness has impaired his ability to secure full time or part time employment.He is establishing a criminal record,chronically unemployed and defying conservative values that he espouses.This is a personal tragedy unfolding in the public spotlight.

The Berger File:

Very well said. I agree 100%. On another note. These posts are not about Jason Thompson. Not about Barfield or the rest of the board. They address, or should the failures, personal or as an elected official to perform with diligence the duties He was elected to do. Mr. Berger can not. Never has, never will. As far as this Good ole Boy system and corruption crap goes, Put up or shut up, just as Jason Thompson asked. I myself know of no verifiable financial gain by anyone on this board. Bring proof and I will be the first to applaud the effort. The county has enough problems without dealing with Brian Berger on a weekly basis. He has enough explaining to do, enough of his own fish to fry.


Finally a MENTAL EVALUATION!!! Ive been saying..he has the look in his eyes of ''far and distant''.. now can the taxpayers and the Commissioners get rid of him???

Chief District Court Judge Julius Jay Corpening

The Chief District Court Judge Corpening failed to act in an escalating and very dangerous public safety situation for months. He is ultimately the overseer of magistrates and district court cases. He should have ordered involuntary evaluation the minute Commissioner Brian Berger cut his own wrists.

Payton Place

I used to enjoy the TV Show called Payton Place until they took it off TV but I'm happy now that it is alive and well now on the Internet under the new name of Berger Place. I wonder if this guy is still collecting unemployement insurance.

I guess when they came and rousted him this morning, he had a "Gov. Perry" moment and looked at the Sheriff's Deputies and said "OOOooopps".

Only options to that would dethrone The Bergermeister

The only four ways Berger will leave as he obviously will not resign...
1) Wait till 2013 long session in January and file local legislation to revote and vote him out
2) Long term psychiatric commitment - will not remove him from office but will dissolve position for mental incompetency / not being able to fulfill duties medically
3) Convicted of felony.
4) Commits Suicide

You who voted for him, you’re stuck with him till one of the above four action items happen...

You wanted the right to vote, you sure as heck got it... Next time, properly educate yourself and do a complete discovery of who you are voting for…

You overlooked

one other option.

He could show maturity and resign


Lay off the booze, heard enough out of you.

The Berger File:

That's more like it. Now let him fire off an E-Mail and disparage the Judge. $25,000.00. Let's see, $3,750.00 to secure a bondsman. He may be there for a little while. Maybe Ben McCoy will pony up. Anyway, He has been dealt a dose of reality. That must be very contrary to the La La land Big Brian comes from. The Mental exam should be interesting to say the least.


I sure would like to shake that judge's hand. Berger should have been ordered to take a mental eval when he slashed his wrists all those many months ago. In fact, for his own safety and the safety of his ex-girlfriend, he should have been committed involuntarily for a 30-day assessment.

who pays?

Tom, whoops, I mean "Thom" (is the 'th' pronounced? or is the 'h' silent?...confusing!) is defending Berger in court: who is paying the legal fees or is this a pro bono case for Tom---whoops, there I go again, I mean Thom?

I think Berger is a victim of some poorly executed local GOP machinations in the same way in which Patrick Ballantine was thrown under the bus and left by the wayside a few years ago.

To think that no one in the leadership of the NHCo GOP has demanded Berger's resignation is telling; to me, it is another case of what is NOT said that is more damning that what IS said.

Brian Berger

Finally he is getting the evaluation he so desperately needs! I am not a fan of Mr. Berger, nor did I vote for him, in fact I cannot imagine how he was elected in the first place. That does not keep me from feeling sorry for him. He is obviously in need of professional help, and perhaps he may now get it. Maybe he doesn't have any health insurance that is why he hasn't had any help yet. Let's hope this is not going to be a sad story like the man that burned his house down after being harassed by the HOA who was obviously also in need of help.

Thanks Tea Party

Thank you Tea Party for making a great Politician, maybe he could run for Governor.


Or even president. He's as good as any of the others running as republicans at this time.

yeah..thank god

Yeah...thank god he only did this and didn't decide to run a male brothel out of his house.

roger THAT!!!

roger THAT!!!

The Berger File:

Roust Him? Hmmm. Should make him blow a breathalizer and submit to a blood test. It is like the other poster stated, a failure to appear bench warrant should be issued. At the very least He should be found in contempt. He was probably up all night firing off E-Mails. This clown wants to march to the beat of His own drum, The judge should show Him who runs the courtroom. Of coarse they sent the sherrif out there to make sure He had not scratched himself again. What a jerk.

Mr. Berger needs to resign

Mr. Berger needs to resign to get his life back in order. He is no doing himself any good and certainly not us in New Hanover County. We need to do a better job preventing candidates like Mr. Berger from ever winning office.

I don't think people fully understand one thing about Berger

when they say he needs to resign. He can't. Berger can't quit this job for the same reasons you can't quit yours. This is likely his only source of income and health insurance. This isn't Richard Nixon, circa late 1973, early 1974, who was stubborn to the very end, but knew that he could ultimately go to California and collect a pension while making millions for speeches and writing. If he quits, how could he ever get a job now? As soon as a potential employer, here or anywhere Googles his name, he's getting a rejection letter. He's clearly not able to get himself to meetings on time and I'm sure he'd enjoy the luxury of doing nothing but he does not have that option. There is a myth that commissioners, like Congressmen, have pay and benefits for life after one term but that's not the case. I don't think this whole saga will end with him resigning and quietly moving on. You're either going to have the General Assembly step in and give the citizens the chance to recall him or he's going to be a great source of news stories for the next three years. I'm no Berger defender but people should understand that calling for his resignation is a waste of typing or breath.

Being a county commissioner

Being a county commissioner is NOT his only source of income. He's also drawing unemployment from Washington, DC.

If he can't find a job in the future, it's his own fault due to his extremely bad decisions. I can't blame any employer who wouldn't want Berger working for him.

If Berger has no income at all, then he could qualify for welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, free cell phone, free housing. Just think...he would be so much better off than working (not that he does that much anyway).

He was drawing unemployment...

emphasis on was. Is he still drawing unemployment from DC with his commissioner's salary? I don't know, I'm asking. It came to light when he was running for office that he had been drawing unemployment but is he still doing so now that he has income? Is the DC unemployment system so lucrative that he is still drawing money off of it?

I didn't say I feel sorry for him for being unemployable but that's the reality and it's one more reason that calling for his resignation is a waste of time to the point of silly. He can't get another job for the foreseeable future and he knows it as well as you, I and everyone who reads local news.

Please tell me he at least shaved?

Boy, you republicans really picked a winner!

your picks

Bill Clinton, Edward Kennedy, Barney Frank, Sandy Burger, Robert Torricelli, James McGreevey, Jesse Jackson, Gary Condit, Eliot Spitzer, John Murtha, James Traficant, Hazel O'Leary, Marion Barry, Daniel David Rostenkowski, Lamar Hastings, Lena Swanson, Gerry Studds, Chris Dodd, Charles Rangel....AND I COULD GO ON AND ON AND ON!! Seems you have alot of winners on you side of the aisle.

My Picks against Brian Berger....

never had the police to show up to their house and put cuffs on them and order a mental evaluation and placed in jail..your turn?

Did you at least vote then?

He is there because of abysmal voter turnout in an off-year election. When his gang all showed up at polls the plurality balance of a very small group has weight to it. Just take a look at the voter turnout that election, it was embarrassing.

That's our one

You are right that's our one! Let's not forget Katherine Moore! I do believe you Democrats kept on putting her crazy a-- back in office. Let's not forget the entire city council and majority of the county officials over the decades. You dems have alot to be proud of here! We will take this 1. Bet we don't put him back in unlike you FOOLS! Now go back to your Maury episode life loser!

that what we said about the

that what we said about the dems when Obama won!!

No ride

Maybe he finally decided to obey the law and not drive on his suspended license and since he has gone wacko, he couldn't con anybody into giving him a ride.