make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

New Hanover hires attorney to handle Berger's appeal


By Ashley Withers

WILMINGTON, NC ( -- The price just went up for New Hanover County on former Commissioner Brian Berger's appeal.

The county has hired outside counsel to represent them during the appeal proceedings. A cost estimate for the services was not immediately available Monday morning.

Up until this point, the county's team of three staff attorneys has handled the case. Now the task will fall to Greenville-based lawyer John Martin with Ward and Smith, a law firm with five locations across the state.

Click here to

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


He's a Yankee

I'm so glad to see Wilmington reap the benefits of electing a New Yorker to a local political office.

And you're a xenophope

'Nuff said.


It's time to run down this commision like a freight train in court!! Keep fighting don't give up or give in to these represenatives of The New World Order!! I support you sir and today had my secretary send you a check to assist with your cause....

If you're actually that dumb

it's highly unlikely you even have a secretary, much less a job.

Guest 1492

Your absolutely correct I do not have a job im a proud and very successful land devloper.. I give deadbeats like you "a job" wouldn't doubt your on public assitance!!
Berger For Governor!!!!!!!


If it was not such a serious issue, White’s witch hunt would be laughable. He admits in an interview on WWAY that he was unsure of all of the facts and is still unsure of all of the facts. He then chose to dust off an ancient process and bend it to fit his agenda. The only transparency here is that 3 sitting Commissioners led by Woody White chose to bypass the electoral process and remove one of their own. What is not transparent is why.

He then promised it would not cost anything because he would use attorneys already on the payroll. A politician that lied should not be a surprise to anyone………

The Amotion Hearing consisted of 3 Commissioners acting as judge, testifying witnesses, jury, and executioners. Why didn’t any of the terrified women employees that Commissioner Dawson spoke so passionately about testify? Why was Brian Berger not allowed to face his accusers? Why didn’t we hear what caused this terror? I guess when you are allowed to write the rules for “Kangaroo Court” as you go along, anything goes.

Here are some facts:

Brian Berger did not disrupt Commission meetings, most of the time he just sat there quietly and cast his vote.

The waste of county funds Brian Berger was accused of and berated for by Councilman Wolfe was proven false. Was it Woody White that gave Mr. Wolfe the false information? Do any of these officials research anything prior to putting their mouths or tax payer dollars into action?

Woody White blew the so called “situation” with the Governor out of proportion. I can assure you if the Governor felt threatened or even slightly appeared to be threatened, his security detail would have responded and detained/body slammed Mr. Berger. Since this did not occur, why did Woody White and the press choose to make such a fuss over nothing? Are they suggesting the Governor’s security detail is inept?

Woody White spent over $125,000.00 to get elected. This is a new record and approximately $50,000.00 more than had ever been spent previously to be elected a County Commissioner in NH County. It makes me wonder if he is still his own person or a puppet whose strings are controlled by others………. And, if Titan is one of his puppeteers, do we want foreign corporations buying/controlling our elected officials?

One of the conspirators (Mr. Wolfe) in this amotion process was not elected to this council, he was appointed. If Mr. Berger’s removal is upheld, another member will be appointed making 2 of the 5 members not elected by the people they represent. This is an easy way to stack a council and bypass the electoral process.

Some might consider the amotion process this Commission used to remove one of its members transparent. While the hearing might have been, the true motives behind the hearing were/are NOT. The “Triplets of Terror” appear to have night vision equipment while the rest of NH County is left in the dark………………….In most cases, I believe if you follow the money, the truth is not far behind…………….

Mr. White, Mr. Wolfe, and Ms. Dawson are the ones who need to be removed from the Commission. Their actions prove that they do not have a problem in bypassing the electoral process. A commissioner that is acting like a self-appointed dictator and their co-conspirators should not be allowed to remain in any form of Government in the United States.


How much of that $125,000.00 was in $5,000.00 increments from people listed as "homemakers" according to election records?
Did their check have Greek Olive Oil stains on them?
How many "homemakers" from New Hanover County can afford to donate $5,000 checks to a person running for county commissioner?


Homemakers with 5 grand


I do not have the exact count, I can't find my research. It was quite a few and I wonder if all these donors would stand up to a SBI investigation while being questioned under oath? If I do not find my notes, I will go back thru his donors. The nice folks at the Board of Elections will show you how to look this up if anyone else is curious as to whom helped Mr. white set a new record.

In this economy, it is nice to see so many homemakers have $5,000.00 to blow on a County Commission Candidate who now believes he was elected King/God/Dictator of NH County.......

With Mr. White's record setting donations, maybe he will foot the bill for the attorney instead of the tax payers......

Danger to Who?

Here's another point. He's just as much danger to everyone now as he was before. Removing him did nothing to help with that issue. They should have just let this ride out and let the people vote him out next year.

Woody White

It is time for Woody White to get out of politics. If he had any decency, he would resign today.

Too funny

If he had any decency. You must have forgotten his career... he is a lawyer.

NO cost

When this all started we (the taxpayer) were told it wouldn't cost us anything. That you would use the lawyers on staff. Now, We want answers why did you hired another firm?

This isn't going to go away with some answers.. we are tired of being told one thing and then government officials doing what they want..

Tax payers want answers !!!!!


And who are you to demand an answer from the County Rulers.

we all demand answers

He is a citizen of the county and a voter. Those in office were elected to serve the citizens, not their personal agenda. We have the utmost right to know where the monies are going and if you have any sense at all you know we have been lied to and mislead repeatedly by the city directors and county commissioners.

The Berger File

I was wondering when this would happen. Actually, it took longer than I thought it would. It was obvious the powers that be could not enter this fray with general counsel ie the County Attorney.


I take it from Surf City's posts that the evidence is now cast in stone.
So why hire an outside attorney? Now?
Are they planning on losing the hearing and going to a higher appeals court and prepping the attorney for that?
If so then they will have added to the time of the process until 2014 for sure making this all a useless exercise - because we will vote Berger out of office.

The longer this drags on the worse it gets for White and the local GOP.


The Berger File

Vog, I have no idea what the true thought process is in this ever expanding fiasco. I did have the feeling The Commission would go outside the county legal team. You are correct and I agree that more than likely this will go on for months if not longer unless the judge quashes the whole thing on the 16th and the commission accepts it. If Berger loses, could go on for a while.

And think, what will happen when elections roll around. Will Berger even be on the ballot? If this is not resolved and he is not allowed to return to his seat, would he be on the ballot? It is a paradox. we are in the twilight zone. Then after the election, he wins and is returned to a seat that may not be there. could screw up the whole election. It is comical.


Berger has outlived his usefulness as a politician so even if he did run he'd lose and badly so. His switch to the Libertarian party is a crude joke on the party itself.
I see no need for further action past censure but apparently Woody did. It was this action that cemented it for me and now I vehemently oppose Woody White for any political office in future elections - as I do Brian Berger.


What the H__l?

Is going on?
We were told it wouldn't cost us anything?
Then during the process, it became clear that the evidence presented by the County was very weak (as was Berger's attorney) - with no direct testimony from the people who the county claimed felt threatened.
Now - correct me if I'm wrong - there can be no change in the evidence presented - correct?
So why does the county need an outside attorney?

Surf City? You here today? Anyone have a clue?


To my knowledge

the County can not offer any new information. Given that the amotion documents are vague, they may have room to add. But what would they add which would further strengthen their case to remove him?

He's already proven them in error on the major points of their case?

So what could they bring? Jaywalking? Sptting on the street?

I think the reason they need an attorney is due to Berger remaining a member of the Commission. Whether they like it or not, he is. Only the superior court judge can rule to remove him.

There's likely some legal issue over the County's attorney being used in an action against a standing member of the Council. That would be my guess.

Don't rule out the attorney working to get this resolved before the court date. That is Ward & Smith's strength -- bringing closure.

Can we expect Woody to wrap his arms around Berger and plant a big kiss on his cheek?

If this goes to the Judge, and he rules in Berger's favor, which I think is his only option given the County's case, you then give Berger grounds for action against the other Council Members.

But again, don't expect a quick ruling from the Judge. Certainly do not expect one at the conclusion of the hearing. Look for this to be taken under advisement; which in layman lingo means he will get to it when he feels like it and when it can not hurt him.

Remember his earlier comments, the Council can not replace Berger until the Judge issues a ruling.


"If this goes to the Judge, and he rules in Berger's favor, which I think is his only option given the County's case, you then give Berger grounds for action against the other Council Members."
For what and under what grounds?
I was of the opinion that NC prevents anyone from suing an elected official - or does that just apply to state level elected officials?

Ward and Smith may attempt to bring closure but if they are looking to settle I think Brian's attorney would then see through the weakness of the County's case and persue this to fruition.....



I never mentioned sue.

I said further action. Might he undertake an amotion action against Woody?

Some months ago, he was literally willing to walk away if they continued his monthly stipend; continued his health insurance; and if you recall he wanted some type of public gesture of goodwill from Woody.

Now, will the first act by the attorney be to request a continuance to allow him to "get up to speed" on the case? Good for Berger, they continue writing a check.

Let's not forget at some point he will need to seek other employment. Maybe head of WDI?


An election would probably have turned out to be a lot less expensive. .

If they couldn't have handled this in house

with their own three staff attorneys, they never should have started up any of this nonsense in the first place. Duh!


It's only money, the County has plenty and if they don't they can always borrow it.

Weasel Woody White and our dollars and fairness

Weasel White costs us honor and dollars. His past and present sleaze tactics shame all of us. Is he hiding something? Does he fear transparency? Have HIS actions in this matter been proper? Let's hire an attorney to investigate White. Just more of Weasel White's sleaze

Great idea. For those guys

Great idea. For those guys to be so scared of Berger, it makes you wonder what they are really afraid of. Vote Berger out? Not if he was to run against Woody White. White is a disgrace.

Whatever is that sound ?

Oh, now I know what it is; it's the sound of taxpayer's dollars going down the drain!

What a bunch of jackasses! All they had to do was restrict him from any additional leadership duties and make sure he didn't spend any more money or use up county worker's time without approval. Wait him out (because he's also a moron and shouldn't be in office) and in a little while he'd be history. Instead, they had to go and act like a bunch of knee-jerk morons and do something so stupid it questions why they're our "leaders" in the first place.

C'mon people. It's way past time to start doing some due diligence on those candidates we choose to vote into office!

(And by the way, that includes $affo and cronies)

Show Time !!

Welcome New Hanover County taxpayer! This three ring circus is about to start. The cost of your mandatory ticket has yet to be determined. Ward and Smith PA is a high dollar and costly law firm. Something smells here?? Isn’t Woody White’s law office close to the Ward and Smith office on Racine Drive?? To be continued…

IF the County loses...

can we sue for breach of fiduciary duty? After all, aren't the County Commissioners fiduciaries of our tax money?

In the end, it will still cost us less than Saffo's ego-fueled baseball study(ies).