WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –- New Hanover County Commissioners voted to censure Commissioner Brian Berger Monday. The Board also voted 3-2 in favor of moving forward with an amotion to remove Berger from his post as commissioner.
Amotion means the county has the right to remove an officer that is part of a governing board of a corporation for significant reasons, according to the UNC School of Government.
Chairman Woody White says serving in public office is a privilege, not a right.
“When you take certain actions like he’s done over the last two plus years, that privilege is revocable, and he claims it’s a right he has. He has breached the public trust,” White said.
Not all the commissioners thought filing an amotion against Berger was in the best interest for the county.
Commissioner Jonathan Barfield thinks the decision to remove Berger should be up to the voters, who elected him to his seat.
“It’s also their responsibility to recall those folks if they choose to,” Barfield said.
Barfield voted against the amotion citing his concerns of a potentially lengthy process.
“If this young man decided to sue the county or proceed with a legal matter, this could drag on for months. Before you know it, you’ll be at 2014, when his election term is up,” Barfield said.
Others do not think time is a factor in this case.
“When considering things that are right and wrong, time isn’t an issue there,” White said. “The time it may take to pursue is inconsequential to that.”
Berger issued a statement Monday afternoon that read: “I contest the introduction of the resolution censuring me, New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger. I refute the misleading and false allegations contained in the document.”
Berger has until May 17 to notify the county clerk if he chooses to seek an attorney.
The amotion hearing is set for May 20.