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Given a second chance, Berger misses first meeting back

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Nearly a year after being removed from all of the committees he served on due to his tardiness New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger is back. But his first committee meeting as a member of the CFPUA Board didn't exactly go as planned.

"Since he will be staying for two more years, now is a time for him to say that he can put his money where his mouth is and step up and serve on these committees," Commissioner Jason Thompson said.

Taking over Thompson's committee assignments was supposed to be a second chance for Berger, but just hours after getting that chance, Berger was once again a no-show.

"I don't serve with him regularly," CFPUA Board member and Wilmington City Councilman Neil Anderson said. "The only time I see him is I'm on the Legion Stadium Commission, and we've had two meetings since I've been on council, and he hasn't attended either one of those."

With just three weeks left in his political term, Thompson quit the boards and committees he served on with a promise from Berger that he would step up and fill the void.

"I wasn't going to ask the other two commissioners to pick up my five or six committees plus subcommittees, and so I put them on Commissioner Berger and gave him the opportunity he has been asking for for over a year to be on committees again. So we gave him an opportunity to see how well he serves," Thompson said.

Berger would not agree to an interview, but explained his absence in a text message.

"I just found out about the committee assignments at about 8 last night. I have no agendas, no schedules, and nobody said anything to me about there being a meeting in 12 hours," Berger wrote. "Frankly, for a CFPUA meeting, after being booted off for a year, much more time is required to prepare than 12 hours. Go make a story up..."

Members of the CFPUA Board say they will give Berger a pass for this meeting, but they say he needs to attend meetings in the future.

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