FIRST ON 3: Berger guilty of breaking protective order


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Submitted: Wed, 02/01/2012 - 4:20am
Updated: Thu, 03/29/2012 - 1:06am
By:

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Guilty. That’s the verdict in a trial this morning for New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger. A judge found Berger did violate a protective order filed by his ex-girlfriend.

Berger was early for court Tuesday morning for a hearing on whether he violated the order. The charge came after Berger attended a community action incorporated meeting in November at the building where his ex-girlfriend Heather Blaylock works as a teacher.

Cameras were not allowed in court during testimony.

Blaylock said she knew Berger was aware of where she worked because at one point they joked about the location of the building being in a “bad part of town.” Blaylock said she was not at the meeting that night but found out Berger was the next morning from coworkers.

Community Action Executive Director Cynthia Brown says she questioned Berger’s attendance at the meeting almost immediately because she knew about the protective order Blaylock had against him. She notified board member Curtis Barnhill, a sergeant for the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.

Barnhill said he told Berger he should not be at the school because he was violating the order. Barnhill testified Berger said he did not think Blaylock would be at the meeting, because it was late and she had young children and he would not let Blaylock stop him from doing his job as a county commissioner.

Then, Commissioner Berger took the stand to tell his side of the story. He said he had no idea the building was where Blaylock worked. In fact, he said he thought it was a church.

He then said he felt it necessary to attend the meeting because of the corruption he was told was taking place within the organization.

Judge Shelly Holt eventually found Berger guilty of violating the order, because it says to stay away from Blaylock’s workplace, regardless of if she is there.

Deputies took Berger into custody, but released him on the $25,000 secured bond he posted Friday.

Because of his conviction, Berger will now again face charges from his June arrest after a fight with Blaylock that had been dismissed.

Berger’s attorney Thom Goolsby has appealed this conviction to superior court. That hearing could happen as soon as March.

44 Comments

  • Guest2020 says:

    I could already understand about them not being allowed at the home. But given your explanation, I see your point about the workplace as well. Thanks for the enlightenment.

    They should have had the meeting elsewhere given the circumstances. I wonder if they kept it there on purpose to set him up.

  • supporter of berger. says:

    I do not agree with this decision is just attempt to continue ruin his character.

  • Guest757 says:

    Mr. Berger doesn’t need any help in ruining his character.. He has done it all by himself..

    It wouldn’t have been any different in or out of the media he broke the order and thats the bottom line… Should we treat him special ??

  • Guest88 says:

    Berger is an idiot! where is that wizard of words straight shooter!
    we need more people to grasp what this guy has to say! I agree with everything he has posted about this stain on the shorts of our county.
    I say straightshooter for mayor! hell, straightshooter for president!

  • Guest111 says:

    Does anyone know FOR SURE what the penalty will be for him being found guilty? Will he get jail time?

  • Tricia says:

    So “supporter of Berger” above, the media shouldn’t report on a County Commissioner who is convicted of violating a domestic violence protective order? And do you think there would not have been a conviction if the accused were not the infamous Mr. Berger? HE BLATANTLY VIOLATED THE PROTECTIVE ORDER!!!!! Open your eyes and stop making ridiculous comments on Berger’s behalf.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Is it common for a protective order to keep someone from a building if the other person isn’t present? Since she was not there, he posed no threat to her and the court should have been more lenient in this particular case.

    I feel sorry for this man and everyone else involved. I wish he would get his life straightened out. I really wish that he would realize that his personal issues are interfering with his ability to effectively serve the county and would do what is in the best interest of the citizens of New Hanover County.

  • Guest611 says:

    No one is ruining his character except himself. He broke the law (again). Deal with it.

  • Anne says:

    It’s a shame Berger again chose to behave in a negative manner which reflects upon his character. Apparently he is a slow learner. It’s also a shame he chooses to provide fodder for media reporting when he makes startling statements in which he attacks other people, and rambles in long emails.

  • Colts556 says:

    Stop persecuting this hero

    Obviously the restraining order was granted to keep him from witnessing the “Organizational Corruption” at this location first-hand.

    Being a true patriot…he defied the “illegal” restraining order to appear on-scene to catch the evil-doers “red-handed”; now the system is taking revenge against this citizen-hero.

    Haven’t we had enough of the illegal Obama administration?

    Their only goal is to take-down ethical honest citizens and desecrate patriots as they are doing here. Stand up America. Stand up against the tyrannical socialist agenda that is destroying this country.

    Council-member, Crime-fighter , Patriot, Hero!

  • Guestfacter says:

    This is overkill by a cabal of politicos afraid of Berger having to know and making the public aware of their self serving votes and deals. They have to be transparent aslong as he’s around.
    Why havent we seen the person or persons who stole his notes early last year and gave them to wway3 prosecuted– that is a theft!
    Why havent we seen the person in NHC HR who called the Star News and offered them an “exclusive” if they would disclose he had received unemployment prosecuted for vilotlating County, State and Ferderal Law. Maybe the Star News has a right to publish but this leak was unlawful and a smear job—I am no great Fan of Brian(or for that matter a Ben Mccoy fan)– but these actions and the failure to prosecute these individuals stink to the high heavens.

  • Guest ? says:

    May we know the name of the doctor that performed the psychological evaluation on Commissioner Brian Berger? Schizophrenia shows up in behavior episodes a/k/a temporary insanity actions. Is this doctor who examined Berger paid by the State of NC, acting on behalf of the courts? Much like the docs that may have difficulty in private practice demands, but are hired to work on contract for the prison system.

  • Guest55555 says:

    Yes, it’s pretty common. It depends on how the restraining order was worded by the judge. Many years ago, I had a restraining order against my ex-husband. It said he couldn’t go to my home or where I work. If the restraining order had said only that he couldn’t be there if I was present, he could have gone in my home or on my job and waited for me until I got there. That could be disasterous in a domestic violence case.

  • Guest55555 says:

    “char·ac·ter [ kárrəktər ]

    1. distinctive qualities: the set of qualities that make somebody or something distinctive, especially somebody’s qualities of mind and feeling

    2. positive qualities: qualities that make somebody or something interesting or attractive

    3. reputation: somebody’s public reputation”

    What character? He has none.

    I like what Katharine Hepburn said once, “To keep your character intact, you cannot stoop to filthy acts. It makes it easier to stoop the next time.”

    Berger has stooped so much lately, he has carpet burns on his knees.

  • GuestReality says:

    We are what we do repeatedly, and it becomes a habit. Berger’s actions are a habit. The outcome, even without the media, would have been the same. It’s just Berger’s character. The media is only reporting it.

  • supporter of Berger says:

    This is just another chance to ruin his character. If this was not in the media the out come would have been very differnt.

  • GuestRespondent says:

    Cabal? Whoa, stop pointing fingers…this is all about an illusory, egocentric crank named Brian Berger. Behavior? Indefensible. Character? Nonexistent. He has repeatedly committed acts that define him as an individual and, apparently, no one other than him (or perhaps his close associate, McCoy) matters in the least bit.

  • Guest876543 says:

    I was surprised that Berger hired Senator Goolsby to represent him in court. I believe Berger could have hired a much better lawyer to argue his case. I don’t know if it would have made much difference, but you normally want to hire a good attorney if you could go to jail.

  • Who pays? says:

    Last week I questioned who is paying the legal bills here, and today I still think the question is germane.

    If Berger is as financially strapped as we have been led to believe, then I really would like to know who is paying his Goolsby’s fees.

    Personally, I believe that Thom is one of Berger’s silent backers and thus is waiving whatever fees might usually apply in working as a defendant’s counsel.

    Follow the money and all “might” be revealed.

  • Guest09 says:

    Thom Goolsby is brilliant. He knows the system of appeals always outlasts a complainants emotional bandwidth.

  • GuestRespondent says:

    Clearly, Berger is completely unaware of his inexcuseable douchebaggery.

  • Peyton Garrett says:

    Cast a stone at who? You? I don’t want to see Him hurt. Just resign from the NHC Board of Commissioners and distance himself or remove himself from the local GOP.

  • Monkey Junction says:

    I wish no ill will to Mr. Berger. I do not know him personally but it has become obvious to everyone that he is in no shape to lead the citizens of New Hanover County. He has brought this all upon himself and must resign and take responsibilities for his own actions.

    If that means I have cast a stone, then I could not care less.

  • Guestsmiley says:

    Ok. Who’s ready to throw the first stone? I know some of you just can’t wait.

  • GuestLaw says:

    According to NC statutes that I researched online, it’s a misdemeanor.

    Sorry, I know we were all hoping for more so that he could be kicked out of office. But it is what it is….

  • Guest51 says:

    is this guilty verdict considered a felony?

    please let it be so

  • guesty says:

    From the story: “…and he would not let Blaylock stop him from doing his job as a county commissioner.”

    It isn’t Blaylock that is keeping him from doing his job. The only person that is keeping him from doing his job is Berger himself.

  • Peyton Garrett says:

    Who paid the bondsman? Goolsby is probably pro bono.

  • Independent Voter says:

    He likely settled under the desk, ahem, table.

  • Guest of Wind says:

    Wow, some of these comments are lacking tact and are rather sexually explicit. Kids could be reading your comments. Regardless of what you believe there is no need to reduce this discussion to idle bathroom talk. Have some dignity about yourself and watch what you say.

  • Independent Voter says:

    That would make a nice campaign sign. Berger-Goolsby. Two peas in one pod. They are alike in many ways of political ideology. It’s too bad the Teapublicans have yet to do a recall on both of these bozos.

  • Guest55555 says:

    Berger has the right to a legal defense.

    Personally, I think it took pretty strong character for Goolsby to stand up and defend someone he knows most people are against. He did what was right, instead of what was popular. That’s character.

  • GuestSYP says:

    Please have sympathy for poor Brian. Remember . . . .

    Life can be tough. However, it can be really tough if your are STUPID!

  • Guestpuzzled says:

    It is obvious that Mr. Berger has some type of health issue or disability. Does he have family? Are they trying to help him? This is a very serious, sad, and potentially dangerous situation. I personally do not see the humor it it. What has our society come to? The man needs help!!!!!!! There but for the grace of God–it could be me, you or one of our loved ones.

  • boo boo says:

    As Yogi Bear use to say, “he’s smarter than the average picnic basket”.

    Or maybe it was “bear”.

    Same only different.

  • Guest28451 says:

    The reality was I believe he was being honest and truthful in trying to look into issues with headstart and what not. Apparently nobodyelse in the County Commission gives a rats rear about the issues that have plagued NHC Head Start for awhile. Was Heather Blaylock at the meeting NO she wasnt so the issue of the restraining order being in violation seems questionable. To be honest I think the solution should have been to have Berger escorted by a NHCSO deputy (which Im not so sure he wasnt in this case as it appears at least one deputy talked to Berger while he was there and acknowledged he was at her place of employment but yet the officer did nothing to have Berger removed in violation of the protection order at the time hence this being brought up after the fact is dubious at best). Has Berger made mistakes sure he has and plenty of them but in this case I think it was a miscarriage of justice when he was within the boundries of his duties as a county commissioner to look in on how county tax payers money is spent.

  • Peyton Garrett says:

    Maybe the fact that He lied had something to do with the outcome. As was stated, He had no County Business pertaining to this meeting. Berger can’t keep up with his other duties much less trying to get involved in one more. The order stated He was not to be where she worked, plain and simple. But as Most of us know, when it comes to Berger, Simple is as Simple does.

  • Guest111 says:

    You do not understand what domestic violence restraining orders are, at all! However, it was explained to Berger very carefully and exact at the time it was issued. He absolutely had no business at her work place and he does need to go to jail for the violation. Domestic violence is serious and it’s finally being taken serious. Study up on your laws before you say the court system is wrong. You are the one who is uneducated in this matter.

  • Berger detector says:

    Mr. Berger do you think we are so stupid that we can’t spot your style of writing? Psychologists suggest that lying changes writing habits because it forces the brain to work harder to invent facts, interfering with the normal writing process including spelling and grammar. Sound familiar, if not read the post above!

  • Du says:

    How many different personalities can talk in the third person at the same time, with the same general grammatical aptitude, and thought process?

  • Guesttoday says:

    Mr. Berger does not get to hid behind his Commissioner’s status when violating a court order. The public part of the meeting was over so he can’t say he was just a concerned citizen either. He was not there to represent the County on official business. Mr. Berger goes rogue and makes his own rules when they serve him not the public. He can’t even represent the committees he was assigned to and was removed from them. Now you are saying he had a right to be at this meeting that he wasn’t even assigned to in any official capacity. That doesn’t pass the smell test. The judge got the ruling right.

  • GuestLaw says:

    Berger was ordered by a judge not to go to Blaylock’s place of employment. It doesn’t matter if she was there or not. The sheriff’s deputy should have arrested Berger on the spot just for being there.

    You’re really trying to debate a decision which has already been made by the court. Berger is guilty of violating a restraining order. The fact that he’s currently a county commissioner shouldn’t entitle him to special priviledges. He could have just as easily gone to the meeting with a weapon and laid in wait for her. If he had done that, you wouldn’t be defending him so vigorously now.

    The courts have no way to know what Berger will do. Neither do the rest of us, with his erratic behavior. The judge based his decision on the law.

  • Peyton Garrett says:

    I can’t wait to hear the spin Berger & Co. put on this. I am sure He will blame the Judge, the DA, those who testified against Him. Even the Deputy Sheriff whose testimony directly contradicted Berger. What a liar. The panic attack is getting ready to set in Brian. Your PJC’s are getting ready to disappear also. Your lucky You didn’t get 30 days. Have a good day!

Leave a Reply