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FIRST ON 3: Berger guilty of breaking protective order

READ MORE: FIRST ON 3: Berger guilty of breaking protective order
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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.

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It isn't her

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.

Lawyer

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.

Brilliant Lawyer

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

Lawyer & fees

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.

The Berger File:

Who paid the bondsman? Goolsby is probably pro bono.

Pro Boned

He likely settled under the desk, ahem, table.

Lacking Tact

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.

is this guilty verdict

is this guilty verdict considered a felony?

please let it be so

Nope

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....

Who's ready

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

Berger

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.

The Berger File:

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.

Clearly, Berger is

Clearly, Berger is completely unaware of his inexcuseable douchebaggery.

The Berger File:

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!