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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — We finally have a ruling on Brian Berger’s legal battle with New Hanover County.

N.C. Special Superior Court Judge James Gale has restored Berger to the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.

“This is a gigantic victory both for Brian and myself as his attorneys and also for his supporters,” said Berger’s attorney Chris Anglin. “It shows that elected public officials in North Carolina because it shows the only people who have the authority to remove him are the voters who put him in office.”

Berger was removed from the county board May 20 following an amotion hearing. He filed an appeal of the decision with the New Hanover County Superior Court in mid-June.

Judge James Gale stated in his analysis that the court cannot conclude that the Board’s Order of Removal was made by an impartial fact finder based on evidence presented because that Order includes findings of fact based solely on the personal experiences of the fact finders, including interactions with unnamed staff.

The Board’s Order of Removal must then be set aside without prejudice to the Board’s ability to convene a further hearing and to take appropriate interim steps as necessary to provide for the conduct of the government’s business or for safety and security.

Plaintiff is then restored to his elected office pending further proper action taken to remove him; and in the event further proper action is taken to remove him, such removal need not be delayed solely to await the appointment and qualification of his successor.

“They can appeal this case to the North Carolina Court of Appeals,” said Anglin. “They can also accept Judge Gale’s ruling and have another Amotion proceeding which that’s not the outcome we want. We hope that they choose to not have another Amotion proceeding.”

Anglin and Berger aren’t the alone in their hope that the Board of Commissioners choose to accept Judge Gale’s ruling.

“I think that we should leave it alone and move on and cut the waste of spending that we have already done with the taxpayer dollars,” said commissioner Jonathan Barfield. “What I would like to see is that our local delegation would have done a recall bill to allow our citizens to recall Berger as opposed to putting that much power in 4 people’s hands.”

Comment on this Story

  • Guest2020

    There has been more than one accusation levied against Berger that were proven to be false. So, his conspiracy mindset is not off-base.

    I think that most people consider Berger to be ineffective at his job, but they believe that it should be up to the voters to remove him from office and not members of the same board on which he serves. Woody White is abusing his power and that is more egregious than being late or losing focus. We don’t want White and the others to handpick their own posse in order to push their agenda. We want and honest process that does not subvert the will of the people.

  • KrisC

    If Brian Berger’s disrespect for rules of order of the office he holds is some people’s idea of how elected officials should act, then I have to ask how they think the people’s business is supposed to be accomplished? Mr. Berger continually acts in an obtrusive manner,not only by his lateness and inability to focus at meetings, but in his constant casting of aspersions that he is being conspired against by his fellow commissioners. Mr. Berger’s actions are not commensurate with the proper demeanor of an elected official, either publicly or in his private life. How people can have any confidence whatsoever that this man will ever be an effective commissioner, I do not know.

  • Straightr

    Remove white Dawson and their old puppet. Their kangaroo court was a sham They lied- but if they go forward let’s ask McCrory and the federal authorities to investigate them along with Copley and Coudert. They have tried to manipulate employees and documents. They are,orallyreprehe bile- woody white all the,oralit of an anthonyweoner

  • Guestrepublican

    White has abused his office. White has abused the citizens of NHC. White’s sleazeball tactics against Bozeman and now Berger are a disgrace. He has crossed lines of decency and even as republicans we say enough. He continues this vendetta to enhance his interests while undercutting ours and WE will file complaints against White, Coudert, and Copley. They believe they have plausible deniability. We disagree- we will ask federal and state authorites to examine their conduct which we believe crossed ethical and legal lines. Let the feds and state -not the locals decide if this has gone over the line. Lets see Woody-under oath. Many of you have called him a woody a-that isnt fair to weasels

  • Guest9743


    Brian: 1
    Woodrow: 0

  • About now even Jimmy Carter is looking better.

  • Snarkmeister General

    Not to worry Guest 10010. By the standards of today’s Tea Party Reagan would be seen as too liberal.

  • Guest2769

    Please make it stop.

  • Guest 10010

    My god, Please don’t let the Tea Party put this wack job back in office. Next thing you know they will put Reagan back in office.

  • Kelly

    Nothing will change with Mr Berger. He will still be late for meetings and his bizarre private life will still make the headlines. As a taxpayer I feel that the right thing to do was to keep him out. He is directly wasting our money. I will not vote for him come elections.

  • Guest111

    Call for an election this fall and let’s just end this once and for all. Quit wasting time and money and do what should have been done to begin with. Voters put him in and voters can take him out. Yes, it may cost the county some money but think of all the damage he can do between now and the time his term runs out. He is enjoying all this and loving the constant media coverage. Who ever is backing him is too. We need to end our ‘county clown’ antics. Just do it and be done with it or shut the hell up about him and his adventures.

  • Old Guy

    Call for a vote this fall? Are you kidding? This will not happen either.
    Woody and the gang of three can just go eat crow. I may not vote for Brian during the 2014 elections but that does give me my constitutional right to vote on who I want and let my voice be heard. An election this fall is not even possible as guess what it is now Fall. Brian now holds the keys to the coffers of the County since this action was not done in the right way. Let’s see now what happens. Of course I hear people saying that Brian likes to rant and rave about who, what, when and how but if Woody would just stop giving him the chance to rant by asking the stupid questions he does then it would stop. It kind of makes you wonder exactly what kind of lawyer Woody is. I wouldn’t hire him to represent me in dog court. As far as the old guy Wolfe and the only woman Dawson maybe just maybe they were lead astray by Woody but there again they are their own people and have a right to choose. Guess they chose wrong. I wnat to know exactly how much of our hard earned tax payer money was wasted on this whole process! What a waste!

  • Guest45

    Yes, by all means call for an early election, it seems Barfield and Berger are the only 2 people on that board that truly believe in democracy, the election should be about removing White, Wolfe, and Dawson, and electing people that will represent the voter, not themselves!

  • Bech guy

    Other than some embarrassing moments what real damage has Berger done?
    We would not have this expense so far if WW and his lackeys would have followed the states constitution and not tried to be bullies.
    This is why there are an odd number of commissioners so they can have checks and balances on one another if the guys a nut job

  • Rick Wilson

    It is my hope that White, Wolfe, and Dawson will end the madness and not waste any more taxpayer money on this schoolyard bullying. With Judge Gale putting an end to their “Kangaroo Court Proceedings” this matter should be over. In less than a year and a half, the voters can decide if Mr. Berger remains a County Commissioner, the way it should have been handled all along……… Mr. White’s attempted end run around the electorate showed poor judgement and was a total waste of taxpayer money. Now maybe he will concentrate on the real issues this county faces instead of trying to hand pick the members of the County Commission. His crony will now have to try and gain a seat the old fashioned way……get elected by the people.

  • Snarkmeister General

    I am exceedingly pleased that the will of the voters has been respected by Judge Gale! Also, high regards to Comm. Barfield for his gesture of respect to the voters. Like Brian or not, he represents the original principles of the Tea Party Movement of smaller government, lower taxes and fiscal restraint. I guess this will really cramp the White machine’s dealings now!

  • steve

    Shut up you and your teaparty BS. In that case… the voters have spoken Obama was elected deal with it! -for 8 years. When Berger gets voted out YOU take him home with you.

  • Guest213

    I’m not sure how you figure he represents fiscal restraint. There is no fiscal responsibility in a paid Commissioner who thinks it’s below to come to meeting on time (or at all) and present productive information. As a county employee I’m appalled that this man has so many followers. I believe you all should join a Commissioner meeting and watch him come scuttling in late and fumble around every topic discussed. I agree that the way the board went about removing him is wrong, but it does not change the fact that he has made a laughing stock of this county for too long.

  • Guest Reply Redux

    They can still walk away from traffic violations though..but have to wallow in this :-)

  • EReeves

    Berger may be a strange bird but it is not the place of fellow commissioners or a court to remove him from elected office. The whole process is unconstitutional and subverts the will of the voters. Personally I am tired of the local paper and certain TV stations harrassing and bullying this man. Are they worried that he may reveal connections they don’t want the voters to know about? Leave him alone and let the voters make the decision to remove him from office. Enough taxpayer money has been wasted on this circus as is.

  • Vog46

    Was as anticipated – but it happened very quickly.
    Brian won – Woody lost and the GOP has taken it on the chin.
    For using the amotion process, Woody should be removed from office. He is an embarrassment to the GOP.

  • NoName

    This is ridiculous. Get ’em ALL out of there and get back to REAL grown up stuff. SMH

  • beach guy

    Real mature stevo, Yes Obummer was reelected and we all are dealing with it as in Arab spring Libya Egypt Syria Russia Pakistan Iran Yemen Hezbollah Bahrain and china robbing us blind 17 trillion in debt so on and so forth.
    not to mention the abysmal failure on domestic policy as in no immigration reform other than amnesty a open border and cities going bankrupt energy prices skyrocketing food prices are up 150% and more people on government assistance than in recorded history.
    I guess the reset button is broken who can we blame that on?
    So please just shut up

  • Guest2020

    I agree with the judge’s decision. I agree with Mr. Barfield’s assessment of the situation. This is a matter that should be left to the voters to decide. I hope that Woody White will now drop the matter. And I surely hope that when White is up for re-election, the voters of New Hanover County will remember that he tried to subvert their decision and take matters into his own hands.


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