FIRST ON 3: Woody White’s amotion against Brian Berger cost taxpayers $68,000

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Submitted: Wed, 10/16/2013 - 3:32am
Updated: Wed, 10/16/2013 - 12:46pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Invoices filed today with New Hanover County show that County Commissioner Woody White's attempt to throw Commissioner Brian Berger off the board cost taxpayers more than $68,000 in legal fees. That does not include hours worked by internal legal staff.

The original amotion hearing cost the county $25,000. Then a later appeal cost $42,000.

White held an amotion hearing earlier this year. White voted with Commissioners Tom Wolfe and Beth Dawson 3-2 to kick Berger off the board. Commissioner Jonathan Barfield sided with Berger saying he didn't feel comfortable going against the voters in the county.

Berger appealed and the case was sent to a business judge in Greensboro. The judge ruled that the board mishandled a couple of minor issues and ruled that it would need to re-do the amotion if it wanted to keep Berger out. However, at the next commission meeting, White decided that Berger could stay if he followed a list of guidelines.

In a cover letter to county attorney Wanda Copely, attorney John Martin wrote he usually bills at $400 per hour, but for this case he would reduce his rate to $295 per hour.


  • Guest100 says:

    The lawyer involved normally charges $400.00 an hour…

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    …and fork out another 68 grand for another losing battle that was a known loss from the beginning. Woody Woodpecker wouldn’t listen and decided to waste the taxpayers money anyway.

  • Olderguy says:

    Lets put you in charge, you clearly have the prerequisite math skills.

  • Chester Moyle says:

    I will assume you meant 100,000 dollars. If not you are right, it is over 10,000 dollars

  • Guest Reply Redux says:

    Lead in story:
    (Quote) “Invoices filed today with New Hanover County show that County Commissioner Woody White’s attempt to throw Commissioner Brian Berger off the board cost taxpayers more than $67,000 in legal fees.
    Or…the inside story:
    (Quote) “WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Invoices filed today with New Hanover County show that County Commissioner Woody White’s attempt to throw Commissioner Brian Berger off the board cost taxpayers more than $68,000 in legal fees.

    Just settle for $67,500 WWAY…and that’ll be close enough :-)

  • big_al_the_terp says:

    $295 per hour? Who in their right mind can feel comfortable charging anyone that for anything? Greedy Pigs.

  • CM says:

    While I agree that this is far too expensive, let’s theorize that the cost was evenly divided among the more than 109,000 inhabitants of Wilmington. Had the motion worked, and had we been permanently rid of Berger, I for one would personally have no problem covering my share. We probably all have that amount floating around somewhere in our couch cushions or underneath our car seats.

  • byrdman13 says:

    Well, the people of New Hanover County do NOT have to wait for the
    Circus to come to town! The tents are pitched and I do Believe
    that everybody can tell who the Clowns are!! The smell of elephant
    dung is in the air. AHH, now all we need is the popcorn and peanuts!

  • jimmy says:

    Woody has a pretty successful law practice, so the right thing to do is reimburse the county.

  • Wilmington Observer says:

    Economics 101: Supply and Demand. If you have something (goods or services) that other people need, you can charge as much as much as the need will allow for. $295 an hour is, fairly, reasonable, for an attorney who specializes in a particular area of law. That does NOT mean that I don’t want my money (taxes) back!!

    Wilmington Observer

  • Gust2236 says:

    So basically it cost wah nhc about 30 cents. I’d chip In a dollar to start the process over again. Where can we get the donations going?

  • Old Guy says:

    This is a mis-figure in that what about all of the supplies, county employees time and the campaigning that it took to do all of this crap. The figure is probably well over $10000.00! All of these people need to go! All means ALL! I agree that I am hopeful that we will have decent people to run against these butt holes. A whole new board is called for and is needed!

  • jsmith says:

    You all do realize that the reason we have Berger is exactly because we voted someone OUT of office.

    So the talk of voting White (and Berger) OUT of office means you have to accept alternative candidates–just as we did with Berger…

    It’s not that the voters necessarily wanted Berger–they no longer wanted the incumbent…

  • Guest2020 says:

    Very well said.

  • YEAH says:

    BS!!! More than i make in 2 years of hard back breaking work. Someone is charging to much and our tax money is profit in someones pocket! This is why our national debt is so high because politicians eat away at our hard earned tax money. Why are we giving it to them any way. The guys should learn how to make their own money for budget spending just like i do!!!

  • Guest4572 says:

    Waste of time, waste of money, at least we know a couple of idiots not to vote for next time for sure. Hopefully there will be someone decent to vote for. There is always hope.. isn’t there ???

  • Barry says:

    First of all, this was not Woody White’s lone decision. While it is a cost to the taxpayers, I throw this onto Berger and his well documented conduct.

    You can not nor should be relegated to a position elected or appointed and act with such disregard or lack of respect to the office.

    Berger has as much to do with this than anyone. But He finds himself the victim,,, NOT. Don’t condemn White and the other members of the board. Throw it towards the guy who brought it all on himself and the voters who elected such an incapable man.

  • Vog46 says:

    You are partially correct – Berger did bring this on himself with the help of voters who made a mistake.

    That’s right the voters made a mistake, and it’s the voters who, by law can correct it. Woody’s mistake was trying to correct it for them without ANY current constitutional law backing.
    BOTH men deserve to be UN-elected – and frankly we will correct both mistakes.

    For Woody to take this action means he’s immoral, ignorant and wasteful – all qualities that should get him thrown out.

    Think about it – – election signs are ALREADY appearing on our landscape, and this will have dragged on until January if Woody had not dropped it.
    Woody is a stupid as Brian Berger is….


  • RSmith says:

    Maybe the voters did elect an incapable man, but it’s up to the voters to remove him. Not White and the other members of the board!

  • Monkey Junction says:

    Nice try Woody.

  • Wilmington Observer says:

    I’m sorry Berry, but I think you are a, bit, confused. While it is true that Mr. Berger’s actions and antics have not been what most would consider the norm for an elected official. The fact remains that he is an elected official, just as Mr. White. Neither of these men were elected to supervise or mentor the other. The supervisors of these elected officials are the very people who VOTED to place them in office with very few circumstances which allow for the vacating of their elected position.

    I am NOT a fan of Mr. Berger. He has become an embarrassment to his elected position, the county, the voters who placed him office and to himself. I believe that the politically correct and gentlemanly thing to do would be resignation and public apology.

    It is MY feeling that Mr. White (et all) were Politically INCORRECT and very UN-gentlemanly when they took it upon themselves to laugh at the voters as they used our tax money to void the votes cast by the citizens. Voting was a fundamental right on which this country was funded. Anyone who thinks that they are powerful enough to change the outcome of an election is a dangerous individual who thinks that the Constitution does not apply to them.

    Wilmington Observer

  • Guest45 says:

    well loser pays! Woody White, you cost the taxpayer money for a witch hunt, you pay!

  • Vog46 says:

    As I thought it would be but it should never have been an incurred cost to start with.
    Woody has lost my vote for sure


  • Rick Wilson says:

    Fiscal responsibility are two words Woody White should ever be allowed to use in the same sentence ever again. I hope the voters realize he is worse than Brian Berger ever was….Doing nothing beats the hell out of wasting 1,000’s of dollars…..

  • GuestAMotion says:

    Time to replace them all! While our fearless leaders are busy removing Berger from office, people in New Hanover county are being shot. Who is the real threat? Brian Berger or the gangs taking control of the city?

  • antithug says:

    I want my money back!

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