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BOLIVIA, NC (WWAY) — A Brunswick Count jury has found New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger not guilty of violating a protective order. Berger had appealed an earlier ruling that he had violated the order back in November.

Berger’s appeal came down to a war of words today. His attorney Thom Goolsby says Berger never knowingly violated an order to stay from his ex-girlfriend Heather Blaylock.

“I can tell you from personal experience, my life has been destroyed because of a false allegation,” Berger says. “I certainly have my shortcomings but domestic violence and harming a woman is something I would never do.”

Goolsby says the entire situation became an issue, because New Hanover County Community Action Executive Director Cynthia Brown did not want Berger digging into her organization. Berger was arrested after he attended a Community Action meeting in November. Blaylock works for the organization. Berger says he did not know she worked there, and that he attended the meeting in his official capacity as a commissioner.

“She required Heather to get the protective order, not because there was a threat to her,” Berger says. “Not because I’d ever harmed her or threatened to harm her.”

On Friday Brown emailed a statement to WWAY saying she had never made any such statement to Blaylock and said it was shocking to hear such a thing. Brown says she never interviewed Blaylock directly and says she found out about Blaylock’s relationship with Berger through the media, not through personal conversations.

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