Commissioners vote to begin process to remove Berger from office


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Submitted: Tue, 04/09/2013 - 1:06am
Updated: Tue, 04/09/2013 - 5:06pm
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By Ashley Withers
ashley.withers@starnewsonline.com

WILMINGTON, NC (StarNewsOnline.com) — "I'm not crazy" – New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger's outraged declaration Monday night set the tone for a lengthy board discussion that ended with a formal move toward Berger's removal from elected office.

The board of commissioners asked county staff to begin the amotion process – a North Carolina common law that deals with a private corporation removing an officer because he was unfit – after questioning Berger about his reasons for believing the county is guilty of wrongdoing toward him.

The discussion started during the public comments section when New Hanover County resident Ricky Meeks used his three-minute comment to ask Berger to take a leave of absence so the board could "get on with the people’s business."

Click here to read more at StarNewsOnline.com

62 Comments

  • GuestO'Day says:

    B M, would you be good enough to say which of the votes to censure Brian on the County Commission were made by “left wingers”??

  • Me, Myself, and I says:

    Ricky Meeks is highly intelligent. I’ve seen him, in person, talking with perfect English, very fast, well-educated, clever, and articulate. I read his FaceBook page. And he tries to come across as a 3rd grader.

    When he pretends to be a slow talking “Forrest Gump”, he isn’t fooling me, or anyone else.

  • Bryan says:

    I have read that Berger has no real income. If so, who is supporting him financially?

    Does he own a home? Is he renting an apartment?

    I would imagine he is in desperate financial straits. On one level I feel sorry for the man. On another level, I find him most irritating.

    Anyway, it would be interesting to know which of his political supporters are also his financial supporters.

  • Fleet Ghost says:

    I’d like to read it. I think that would give some idea what Mr. Berger’s state of mind is. He actions do seem to be purposefully counter productive to the process of running county business.

  • burgerboy says:

    brian burger is about the only guy up there who isn’t a crook, he should vote to have all of them other bully’s and crooks to get kicked off of there so they quit stirring up trouble for him constantly, the only reason they’re after him is b/c he’s not a libber democrat like the rest of them, they should impeach the rest of them crooks in jail for about 20 years for egregious behaviour by a public official, they’re all nutcases who should need to go to dorthea dix and after all this brian burger should get out of this dump and run for governor!

  • SouthEastNC says:

    I posted this below, pasting it again up top.

    If you want to see how Berger acts when he gets caught in a lie, watch some of the June 18, 2012 Commissioners meeting when they addressed Brian’s travel habits. He gets caught twice making accusations with nothing to back it up. Claims other commissioners buy golf clubs, charter private flights, and stay at $400/night hotels. When asked to whom he is referring, Brian just starts talking in circles and/or denying he’d just made the allegations.

    http://newhanovernc.swagit.com/play/01062013-534

    select “Items 18 & 19″ the 7:10 mark and the 13:40 mark

  • ChefnSurf says:

    I watched the video of April 8th’s meeting. It was truly disturbing. Those who say people other than Berger are the ones who’re creating the problem are also not dealing with reality. Look at the video yourself and come to your own conclusion.

    Concerning the attempt to remove him: It would probably be an effort in futility. The law seems more than a little weak on this issue; it would take a long time and would be a prohibitive expense that NHC residents would wind up having to pay for. Even a censure would be a waste of NHC time. He’s essentially already been censured by everyone in NHC except for a few nut cases.

    Wait him out. Isolate him from government responsibilities. Institute strict controls on his ability to interact with NHC employees or to consume NHC time and treasure in any way. Ignore him.

    A four person board with Berger simply sitting in a fifth chair and being essentially ignored when he even bothers to show up at all, is a much better arrangement than what we have now. When his term expires he’ll have to leave the area if just to seek employment because no one in their right mind around here would even consider hiring him.

    Let’s get on with the county’s business.

  • SouthEastNC says:

    watching it now
    http://newhanovernc.swagit.com/play/04082013-573
    “Public Comments” section

    Berger claims to have been bullied and treated wrong by fellow board-members and staff. At 12:40 – Woody asks him to please provide specific examples of when he was wronged, and Berger claims this meeting isn’t the right time or place to share the specific examples… Woody presses for specific instances, that in front of the voters at a public meeting is the perfect time to share about incidents of being wronged… and Berger just flounders and speaks in generalities AGAIN. Then he finally says that some combination of former Commissioners Catlin, Thompson, and Davis violated the Americans with Disabilities Act somehow with regards to Berger, but still doesn’t say exactly what.

    Then in “Items 18 & 19″
    Props to Thomas Wolfe for really giving it to Berger starting around 5:20.

    Seriously, how can anyone back this guy? His supporters sound like the Iraqi Information Minister.

  • SouthEastNC says:

    Have you watched the video of the two meetings that are linked below?

    Also – you do realize that when Berger is actually present for a vote (he was 75 minutes late for the January 22nd meeting) he almost always votes with the majority of other Commissioners?

  • jj says:

    The really problem here is that Berger isn’t a pushover “Yes Man”. The other members can’t stand that. Remember he was voted in by the people and I think the people should be the ones to vote him out. Is council going to try to start removing everyone that is elected that doesn’t agree with them? That is why we vote.

    Berger hold your grounds.

  • Guest4572 says:

    I just listened to this guy’s rambling, and beyond a shadow of a doubt he is not well. Anyone who listens to that would have to draw that same conclusion if they have any brains in their head. And yes, I think he could well be a danger to himself and others if left untreated. His speech pattern, thought process, facial expression, all are straight out of the DSM pertaining to several psychological disorders.

    Forget getting him off the Board of Commissioners…. get him committed and off the street.

  • Spence says:

    This is ridiculous. Thomas Wolfe got 3 votes and he has the right to comment as an elected official? Woody White just wants to hand pick another commissioner. More money for his law firm, Dawson’s engineering firm, the incinerator, and Titan

  • Vog46 says:

    Nicely said……….

    Vog

  • nonicomb says:

    I hate to be nit-picky, but I think I might be more willing to give the comment above a fair chance if I could read it without my brain melting. There is this special key on the keyboard labeled “Shift” that can help you capitalize letters, if needed. In fact, there are TWO of them. How convenient!

    Another helpful feature of keyboards enables the user to incorporate punctuation into their paragraphs, thereby creating a simple structure of communication that most people refer to as a “sentence.”

    I think that is a good place to start, and then we can work on the correct way to spell words in the singular and plural form.

    I see there is no need for instruction on how to use the thesaurus, however you should know that there are two definitions of the word “egregious.” You should specify whether you mean to say that their behavior is “shockingly bad” or “remarkably good.” That makes a difference.

    One last tidbit of information for you (for future reference): the Dorothea Dix Hospital is no longer accepting patients. It closed last August. The only nutcases you’ll find there would most likely be of the ghost-hunter sort.

  • Guest704 says:

    NHC & Wilmington subconsciously LOVE the controversy. Look at how long it took to get Katherine Moore out of here!! The people even re-elected her once more after her tirades. …of course, Mr. Berger doesn’t have the privilege of throwing out that race card.
    Unfortunately, I’d rather have Berger in there than most of the other options that are there. If I was a betting man, I’d say he’ll even get re-elected, just to keep our meetings interesting. Like I said, the people here subconsciously love the controversy:)

  • Angewidert says:

    Well, at least when it came to spelling “egregious” correctly.

    Considering the fact that the rest of your post had more spelling and grammar mistakes and more nutty ideas than you’d find in a fourth grader’s essay on existentialism, I was quite surprised. Did you buy the word from someone?

    You’re were also right in suggesting that Berger should run for governor. He could be the first Governor ever from the great State of Confusion. You should consider running with him as Lieutenant Governor. I can already see the campaign posters: “Berger & Burgerboy …..Perfect Together” Now that’s truth in advertising!

  • SurfCityTom says:

    the process is out of their hands now that they have authorized the amotion process.

  • Guest Reply says:

    …and list all the allegations Burger has on everyone, down to a hamburger paid for with taxpayer dollars by someone that shouldn’t have.
    There will be your novel for the year :-)

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    vote!!

    Thanks!!

  • B M says:

    Reading down thru the comments here it’s easy to see you left wingers don’t really believe in the democratic system yaw pretend to, when a man is elected and he doesn’t fit the mold you want him to, or vote the way you want him to, or even acts the way you want him to, you throw him in the fire, well that’s not gonna float in this case, hopefully it will backfire in the powers to be faces and next election cycle there will be more down to earth people put on that board of commissioners, people that are more in touch with the normal person just trying to pay the light bill, or car payment or rent, and still have enough left at the end of the week to take there kids out for a hamburger, it sure is refreshing every once in a while to see a “normal” person with normal every day struggles slip thru the cracks and end up in politics!

  • Guest2013 says:

    I agree Berger can be ignored.
    Why go through all this “who shot John”.

    What grabbed my attention was the way, in the 4/8 meeting, that Berger was laughably set up by the other Commissioners. From the way the rookie Wolfe initially blasted him, to the inelegant Dawson having the motion in hand, prepared in advance,the scene was scripted. I also enjoyed the playground-like sparring of White and Berger. A shaggy dog joke.

    I particularly enjoyed the spineless future Congressional candidate, Barfield, excusing himself from this meeting, so the stink of it will not stick to him if it all goes bad.

    All very entertaining and pointless. Just ignore this teabagging clown for another year and a half. Then…Buh Bye Berger.

  • austin says:

    yes they are and will never be made public, unless HE releases them. He clearly has a mood disorder that begs for treatment. we are not doing the right thing as a society. He needs help very badly but cannot understand or process that because he believes everyone else is wrong-and likely has VERY convincing arguments why he is right . These individuals tend to be VERY bright.

  • Vog46 says:

    Are Bergers psychological problems protected under the HIPPA laws?
    If so we may never know what they are.

    Any medical folks here?

    Vog

  • Scott says:

    You don’t have to comment for yourself on every potentially negative post

  • Guest111 says:

    Finally the commissioners got a back bone! I am thrilled at the idea this clown may be on his way out.

  • joyatthebeach says:

    FINALLY SOMEONE WHO IS USING THEI BRAIN AND HAS SOME COMMON SENSE AND THE BEST INTEREST OF THE COMMMUNITY AT HEART. THANK YOU. I KNEW I COULD BE THE ONLY PERSON THAT FELT THE WAY YOU DO.

  • Straight Shooter says:

    Glad to see this Commission has back bone and is ready to rid us of this pathological liar!

  • guest 1234543 says:

    Interesting, so a group of commissioners decide that they don’t like a duly elected commissioner because he doesn’t exactly look they way they want him too, or sound the way they want him to, or doesn’t fall in line and quack the way they want him to, so they are willing to go against the people’s will and over run him, sounds like a very slippery slope they are starting down, and a dangerous path for the taxpayers of “new hanover county”

  • Guestguest says:

    Hey Brian, isn’t it a little early for you? I thought you usually rant in the middle of the night. Please take a break from this and get some help.

  • Guest 10101 says:

    …… this would be a good time for you to attempt to grow a brain.

    Not sure where you’ve been in the last year but I suspect it hasn’t been anywhere around here. The people’s will has changed. Repeat; the people’s will has changed! No one, probably not even Berger, knew he would fall apart like he did. Regardless of that, he did. The people’s business of NHC is more important than keeping someone on for all the wrong reasons if he’s no longer capable of providing the elected service we elected him to provide.

    To keep him on based solely on “principle” goes against every principle of common sense, much less good government.

  • WSWalt says:

    It has nothing to do with the way he talks, the way he looks, or whether or not he agrees with other commissioners. It has everything to do with his actions and level (or lack) of responsibility.

    – Misses meetings
    – Arrives late to meetings
    – Drives under the influence (breaks the law)
    – Drives without a license (breaks the law)
    – Mentally unstable (Police called to his residence for attempted suicide and under either the influence of drugs or alcohol according to police.)
    – restraining orders against him

    etc etc etc

    Don’t try to make it out that he is pure and that everyone is a bully. It has nothing to do with looks, sound, or ideology. It has to do with character.

  • Guest123 says:

    I don’t like Berger and want him gone also, but agree with the prior comment. This is not right. Unless he committed a crime of office it is the voters to decide if he stays or goes should he decide to run again.

  • joyatthebeach says:

    It’s people like you that vote for clowns like him. that’s why city, states and the nation is in so much trouble. you do not use the brain that God gave you. he has been a shameful human being to wilmington and north carolina. he needs treatment.

  • Pharaoh says:

    Oohh Please! Really? These steps should have been taken a long time ago. This guy is ineffective, irresponsible, incompetent and is the laughing stock of the county and surrounding areas. Even people who voted for him have expressed their support for removing him in this very forum many times over in the past year or so. We don’t need circus clowns running our county. It’s apparent to even the casual observer that this guys has some serious ‘issues’ that prevent him from being an effective member of the county commission.

  • SouthEastNC says:

    Way way more to it than that. I honestly wonder how many of the supporters of berger have really seen him in action If you want to see how Berger acts when he gets caught in a lie, watch some of the June 18, 2012 Commissioners meeting when they addressed Brian’s travel habits. He gets caught twice making accusations with nothing to back it up. Claims other commissioners buy golf clubs, charter private flights, and stay at $400/night hotels. When asked to whom he is referring, Brian just starts talking in circles and/or denying he’d just made the allegations.

    http://newhanovernc.swagit.com/play/01062013-534

    select “Items 18 & 19″ the 7:10 mark and the 13:40 mark

  • Guest8596325 says:

    Is this your first time reading about this clown? Do a little research then come comment.

  • Sister Agnes says:

    Is you sick? This is the people’s will!

  • Straight Shooter says:

    If you have any doubt, go to the New Hanover County web site and watch last night’s meeting from the public comment segment. You can see this lunatic in action!
    The real question is why is it taking so long to take action to get rid of this colossal mistake?

  • Guest5555554 says:

    They want him to look professional, sound professional, and stay out of trouble with the law. I think that is fair for board members and citizens

  • Guesst says:

    I think guest 1234543 is Brian Berger. This sounds just like something he would say.

  • lisa says:

    I guess Mr. Berger knows something they do not want the citizens to know so bullying him didn’t work and now they are trying to make us afraid of him.

  • Gate Keeper says:

    Lisa,
    If Berger had something on the board he would be screaming the details of it all over the place. But because he doesn’t, he just uses the same old tired line “I can’t say right now”. Thinking he’s holding something back just doesn’t make sense seeing he was willing to pass out papers with nothing but rambling thoughts and not one which had enough details to even justifying a second look. Stop with the conspiracy theories, he is just unbalanced and needs help. Heck he still see Caster as a boggie man and he left the state years ago!

  • GuestNNH39 says:

    Does Brian Berger have family or friends? It seems like he really needs some help. He had the perfect forum tonight when asked to state examples of people bullying him and to talk about the injustices he says the county committed against him, he could not and would not because they don’t exist. Listening to him makes you realize he is having problems getting his thoughts together, I sincerely hope that something or someone helps this man before something bad happens. Maybe someone can help him find the man that he used to be, the man that people voted for.

    Brian please take some time off and/or resign, its past time, and you are truly taking away from county business.

  • Guest01a says:

    Berger might be a fruitcake but he won the election. Let the people speak on election day. Because Berger does not play footsie with other commissioners and does not talk, walk, waddle, and quack to the organ grinder, he is an easy target for trashy publicity drama queens and bullies like Woody White and Beth Dawson. They are bullying Berger as a publicity stunt. It is a slippery slope indeed.

    The people had the good sense to vote Woody (“Crazy/Power Hungry/Sleazy”) White out of the NC Senate and stop Beth (“public payroll”) Dawson in her race for the NC House. Subsequently, White and Dawson have proven that they will do anything and say anything and “prostitute” themselves to anyone to get their names in the news.

    Bullies, like Woody White and Beth Dawson, are much more dangerous than Berger.

    If you don’t like Berger, vote him out of office. However, stop wasting taxpayer money and being bullies and drama queens.

    Meanwhile, look into Woody White’s campaign finances for all elections and into who hires White’s law firm while he feeds at the public trough. Look into Dawson’s business ties and the “new” business her husband has obtained to curry influence with Dawson. It is a shame.

  • Guest 10101 says:

    By some odd “coincidence” this post is amazingly similar in content to the post of Guest 1234543’s post down the page. A few new add-ons, like this is a “publicity stunt”, to dumb it down even more, but essentially the same post. Coincidence? I think not.

    It was stupid the first time. To post the same stuff twice demonstrates a slippage on your grippage of reality. No wonder you’re defending him.

  • Guest28403 says:

    The NHC Board of Supervisors isnt a ‘Private Corporation” the law doesnt apply here and any attempt to do so would be an illegal act on the part of the commission unfortunately. I voted for Berger and wish I hadnt now but that doesnt change the reality of the law in this case nor the lack of any constitutional grounds to be able to remove Berger. Unless he makes himself ineligible to hold office by comitting a felony or another disqualifying act he isnt going anywhere because the lawmakers in Raleigh are too gutless to finally bring a recall provision into the election process to be able to remove people from office for reasons other then criminal acts. Sorry but mental instability isnt a disqualification for office ya’ll. But try again.. Yes he needs to go but the failure to have the backbone to bring about change properly is only liable to lead to serious legal bills for the county and fattening Mr Goolsby’s wallet further when Berger sues and rightfully wins the case against the county by trying to illegally remove him from office.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    he is far from being removed from office.

  • Don Rickles says:

    Now if only WWAY could remove the dopes on this webpage who still think Berger hasn’t done wrong.

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    You just did a fine job of making one yourself! I don’t see anyone saying Berger hasn’t done anything wrong. Rules are rules. Berger was elected and he’s going to serve out his term. There is no available “legal” avenue to get Berger out of office. All of the chin-music by the commish’s and all of the whiners on this blog aren’t going to make any difference. It is what it is.

    This is actually starting to get funny! Berger isn’t capable of hurting a fly, yet the commish’s seem to have yellow liquid filling up their shoes and speak in panic mode every time Bergers name comes up. What a riot!!!

  • Vog46 says:

    Expires in Dec of 2014 – next year.
    he’s up for re-election in the Nov 2014 ballot.
    If this drags on a year, as I suspect it will through court challenges we will have funded tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars so that we could remove Berger for what 3 or 4 months?

    They waited far too long to do this. Barfield should have started it.
    Next year White will be explaining to voters why he waited and why it cost so much.
    I’m sorry but this seems blatantly political and fiscally irresponsible.
    Berger never had my vote.
    Neither White nor Dawson will get mine next time around

    Vog

  • SurfCityTom says:

    not certain who would fund him; but the county would lay out thousands to have him removed just a few months prior to the election and primary.

    Better to sit him in a corner like a court clown; pay him his monthly stipend; and bid him a quick farewell after the election.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    the county would be unable to use the County attorney for this. They would have to hire another lawyer to pursue.

  • Concerned Citizen says:

    The so called attempted suicide had to be fake, otherwise, by law, they could not have released him the following day. But, yes he is unstable, with obvious mental health issues. However, often when someone in his state of mind is publicly humiliated, they strike back in a violent way. That is my main concern, as i don’t want to see Wilmington on the national news being another shooting incident.

  • Vog46 says:

    He’s fighting the DWI so thats alleged until proven he was guilty.
    Mentally unstable? Not so, He would have been held after the suicide attempt. Only a judge can make that determination after evaluation by medical personnel.

    Yep he misses meetings is driving without a license and has a restraining order against him.

    Please show me in black and white the criteria for removing him from office?
    We hare trying to hold him (or measure him against) to a standard that does not exist.
    Create the standard. Give us the legal reasons why a commissioner could be removed from office.
    Then have this county commission vote on it and make it law.

    Good luck with that…….

    Vog

  • GuestGuest says:

    Imagine the time & money he would save us if only had the sense to resign. Can’t believe he cares at all about taxpayers when even most of those who voted for him are begging him to step down.

  • Vog46 says:

    Apparently you did not get the memo.
    No politician is worried about being responsible with taxpayer dollars.
    Not Berger, not White, not McCrory, Burr, Hagan, McIntyre or even the President.
    It’s all about keeping their jobs and their power.
    It’s all about re-election.

    Vog

  • SurfCityTom says:

    in the star news. Something about Berger being a Board Member and there is some restriction which prevents the use of the County’s attorney against one of the Board Members. Now the question is who will pay for this hiring?

  • Vog46 says:

    Where is the info on this if you don’t mind sharing?

    Vog

  • Vog46 says:

    http://portcitydaily.com/2013/04/08/commissioners-call-for-censure-removal-of-berger-from-board/

    Woody WhiteReply
    April 9, 2013 at 8:59 pm
    Folks- some facts: today, the NC state bar approved the county attorney proceeding instead of retaining outside counsel. Which means it is not costing the taxpayers anything for the process. Who knows how much it is costing us to deal with a mentally unstable person on a daily basis, not to mention the lack of businesses we may be chasing away. When the citizens see the facts that will be in the pleadings, everyone will have an open and unobstructed view of what is happening behind the scenes, and how unstable he really is.
    *****************************************

    Now I don’t know if this is REALLY Woody White.
    I just found this odd

    Vog

  • SurfCityTom says:

    there will be additional expenses involved regardless of who represents the County. There’s the time charge; which is for a service over and above the normal activities of the County Attorney. Extra time means extra costs; if nothing else there could be overtime for the paralegals who will be preparing documents.

    And for what? To get him out of office a few months before the 2014 election?

  • Vog46 says:

    To Mr White:(Taken from Port City Daily)

    “Vog46Reply
    April 11, 2013 at 8:15 am
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Mr White- if thats who you really are:
    How can you disclose Mr Berger’s psychological problems? Are they NOT covered by the HIPPA laws which protects HIS privacy?
    Second, please reference a written statement by the state AG’s office indicating you can use county attorneys for this debacle.
    Third – please don’t insult our intelligence by saying “it won’t cost us anything”. The County attorney had NOT planned on this legal proceeding in his budget and this will take away from other duties.
    Please keep a log of all cost associated with the removal of Brian Berger from Office and report back to us with a total cost of this removal.
    YOU sir have a fiduciary responsibility to the county as does Brian. YOU as Chair will have to tell us how much this cost.
    WE pay your salary and Brian’s. We elected both of you to the positions you hold. You are going AGAINST the wishes of the electorate by removing Berger from office – that is OUR job. WE make mistakes by electing officials that don’t do a good job.
    If you fail to keep detailed records of costs for this political grandstanding then we’ll correct one of the two mistakes when YOU are up for re-election.
    Vog

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