GREENSBORO, NC (WWAY) — It’s been nearly two months since New Hanover County Commissioners voted to kick Brian Berger out of office. Today Berger’s fight to keep his seat moved to a Greensboro courtroom.
While attorneys from both sides argued their case, Berger stayed home and watched the proceedings on wwaytv3.com at the advice of his lawyer.
Inside of the Elon School of Law, Special Superior Court Judge James Gale gave both sides an hour to argue their case and answer three legal questions he posed at the start of the proceedings: What was the jurisdiction? Did the county have the authority of amotion? And if so did it follow due process?
“Some of our due process concerns are the ones that I mentioned at the hearing are any bias of the New Hanover Co. Commissioners or their improper use of personal knowledge,” Berger’s attorney Chris Anglin.
John Martin, the Greenville attorney the county hired to represent it, argued the county did have the law on its side when it used amotion against Berger.
“The county commissioners were faced with a situation that was a last resort,” Martin said, “so we’re very comfortable that we’ve made the best of a very unfortunate situation.”
Gale listened as both attorneys made their cases, but he made one thing clear about amotion.
“If someone is going to invalidate the amotion process itself, it’s going to be the North Carolina Court of Appeals or the North Carolina Supreme Court,” Anglin said.
Both sides agreed to a 30-day deadline to submit their final briefs to the judge.
Judge Gale, however, indicated he felt the only power he may have is to send it back to the County Commission for a retrial.