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ONLY ON 3: DSS investigates situation at Commissioner Berger's home

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: DSS investigates situation at Commissioner Berger's home
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Department of Social Services is investigating tonight what's been going on at a New Hanover County Commissioner's house. Brian Berger has also had police officers show up at his house twice recently. He says he's caught in the middle of another couple's messy divorce.

Berger says he just found out that his live-in former fiancee's divorce wasn't finalized. And because she and her two kids have been living with him, he says he's stuck in the middle of a custody battle now.

Berger says Wilmington Police have shown up at his house at least twice. The latest was Saturday night after his girfriend's sister called 911 to investigate a "domestic disturbance" according to the police report. Officers showed up a short time later, and, according to the report, they talked with both Berger and girlfriend Heather Blaylock and reported that after the interview everything was OK. But texts from Blayblock's cell phone tell a different story.

Earlier that night her sister's fiance Adam Nicoletti texted her: "Yes it could be dangerous for you & the boys but its more dangerous for u to stay."

A former police officer, Nicoletti suggested ways for her to get help and leave the house

Nicoletti says he received this response from Blaylock's phone: "I can do that but not until I move out and if I call the cops while I am still here it could be dangerous for me and the boys."

Fifteen minutes later, another text from Blaylock's phone says: "He is watching every move I make right now. Am scared to even put my phone down cause he will read the texts. Wont let me call anyone."

And then this text from Blaylock's phone around the same time her sister called 911, according to the police report: "And when he gets mad he throws out or breaks my and the boys' things so I cant get him mad while my stuff is here."

Berger told us explicitly the texts are being taken out of context. He claims he's been dating Blaylock, even proposed to her, and she recently moved in with him. Berger says he believed that her divorce from her husband Richard had been finalized, but then recently discovered that it wasn't. That's when he says he got the engagement ring back. But, he says, Blaylock still lives with him because he didn't want to throw her out during the recent winter storm.

We also learned Thursday that a complaint has been filed at the Department of Social Services by Blaylock's family to investigate the conditions Blaylock's children experienced while living with Berger.

The county commissioner told us by phone that there have never been any problems involving the kids and that they aren't at his home now.

We called Berger this afternoon and repeatedly invited him to talk with us on camera about these incidents. He refused, but then e-mailed us this statement saying: "Your allegations are baseless and inaccurate, stemming from a private divorce I'm not informed on... You have been apprised that such allegations are inaccurate, at best taken out of context text messages perhaps."

Berger then threatened to sue us if we ran this story.

We also called Blaylock this afternoon, but she didn't return our call. Late this afternoon we learned that DSS has ordered her to take a drug test. It also said the children are not allowed back in Berger's house until it's deemed safe and gave Blaylock's husband Richard indefinite custody.

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.

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So what's wrong with this picture?

Don't people have any morals anymore? What's she doing living with a man, exposing her kids to this kind of strife? Berger is a public official. What kind of people are we electing to office these days? People are just are living lives of sin, and everybody just excuses it.

Brian Berger isn't one of the good guys.

You people that support Brian must not know him at all. This is a Great Job of Reporting!! Please keep investigating Brian. I know him personally from a relationship he had with my niece. She was his girlfriend before Heather, and believe me, he is not one of the good guy by any means!! He needs to be exposed for what he is. I will encourage my niece to come forward and tell her story, and if she is still too afraid of him to do so, maybe I should tell her story for her. I will be contacting DSS myself if he doesn't do the right thing.

Thank you

Thank you.

WilmWatcher...

I love you! You said everything I have been wanting to say regarding this matter. Bravo, well done, and thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

WilmWatcher offers NO info, just more rhetoric!

As usual Brian Berger and friend, (WilmWatcher), continues to load this blog with nothing more than B.S.

Brian Berger has his own " Culture of Corruption"! And Ethics?

OK Brian and friends, if details are missing, as you say, than simply come forword and present them to the public! It's that easy! Or do you have more to hide? PROBABLY!

How about keeping campaign promises

Brain,
Resign from the DSS board so you don’t have any influence over the process, if you don't your whole campaign was a lie.

I VOTED FOR YOU...STAND BY YOU WORDS!

From your web site:

1. Fighting the "Culture of Corruption" in YOUR Local Government

2. Demanding Accountability, Transparency and Ethical Conduct in Government

3. I'm the only Commissioner candidate who will vigorously advocate for a tougher ethics policy for Commissioners, and all "citizen advisory" Boards and Authorities. These Boards are stacked almost exclusively with special interests, with too many conflicts of interest.

You Should all be Ashamed

The self-righteous, self-aggrandizing, moral high horse, nose in the air, elitist tenor of the bulk of you posters is absolutely nauseating. I'm sure all of you are perfect, and no doubt are empowered by God almighty himself to disperse judgment and condemnation upon your fellow man as you see fit.

You have certainly made no mistakes, and your life is a pure testament to that which the rest of us should hold in the highest regard of which to hopefully come close to achieving one day. We have those who are referring to colonial cohabitation laws. Those who are bringing up Berger's past citation for failing to place a child in a car seat. All of which you sit up there in your ivory tower and cast stones down upon his head.

Meanwhile, what you don't realize, is that absolutely anyone could place one simple phone call to 911 stating that YOU YOURSELF are beating, molesting, and assaulting your kids - and you will be visited by more cops than you've ever seen in your life. DSS will IMMEDIATELY take your children from you right there on the spot - no questions asked. You will be humiliated and subject to the harshest investigation - all when it is completely baseless and nothing more than someone levying a vendetta against you. THAT IS A FACT. When it comes to child welfare, everyone is guilty until proven innocent.

What is happening here is EXACTLY the scenario that I just mentioned. There is a vendetta being weighed against Berger, and his name WILL be cleared. At that time, I'm sure none of you saints will be anywhere near this website to fess up to your ignorance and stupidity, your rush to judgement, your condescending arrogance, and your holier-than-thou nonsense.

I know Brian personally, and I know that those kids fall all over him like a beloved father. He loves them dearly and would do anything for them.

What you think are "facts" is nothing but hype. You know about .001% of the aspects of this entire story. The rest of it vindicates Berger entirely. I cannot provide any of those facts, as much as I would like to. How dare any one of you wish a denial of Brian's Constitutional rights to innocence until the proof of guilt.

Your approval of this story being sensationalized and published sans entirety and substantial evidence, is your abject approval of the media crucifying you if someone you knew had an axe to grind against you, and called the cops and DSS to tell them that you were torturing your kids. You would be the frontpage public enemy #1 overnight - even if you were completely innocent. Or is it only OK when it is someone else?

Heh, hey Brian... yes we all

Heh, hey Brian... yes we all know this is you. (Or Heather Blaylock perhaps?)

Sounds like you need a little anger management yourself!

Heck of a rant you have going on there Kilroy! Looks like a few may have messed in your cornflakes with something incompatible. While I can understand a portion of your point, you seem to forget that Berger is now a PUBLIC FIGURE. That means there is very little to be held private for him, especially if it is PUBLIC RECORD for all to view anyway. My perception is that nobody, WWAY or any of the forum posters are out to disfigure anyones reputation. The politicians (and others) that are in the public light continue to utilize very poor judgement in their public and private life circumstances and thus, "air their laundry for all to see". Sorry, but that is simply public observation of public figure action. You want to blame THAT on the people?

You see, the people of this great country are sick and tired of a bunch of mealy-mouthed politicians getting office and doing nothing for the people and everything for themselves. The judgement, the honor, the integrity (or lack thereof) that PUBLIC FIGURES utilize in their PERSONAL lives are directly proportionate to how they apply these attributes to the laws that affect their constituents. This is basic stuff here and has been going on for decades. The people want to know, the news WILL report and now the people can voice their opinions openly and publicly in forums such as this one.

So go ahead and appear as a spoiled brat and condemn the people with their comments, throw your spears, sling your axe and continue to support your buddy. It won't make a hill of beans of a difference on their opinions. You want to know what WILL make a difference? Again try reciting these terms, "Good Judgement" (Duh, I didn't know she was married...), "Honor", "Integrity", "Responsibility", "Accountability" and most of all, "For the people!"
Why is it that you believe politicians are to be held "EXEMPT" from ANY of the above?

WRONG

You got it all wrong. Every point. You need to re-read what I wrote. I never advocated for Berger to be exempt from public scrutiny. I never attempted to put him on some pedestal far insulated from any criticism. I am talking about this particular case. There are no substantial facts that incriminate him in any wrongdoing whatsoever.

In fact, the latest developments show that DSS is focusing solely on the mother of the children. I wrote what I did to urge people to not jump on any media-induced hype before all of the facts are in.

You have people on here already saying that Berger is unfit to serve? Why? Because somebody called DSS on him? As I demonstrated above, the same could happen to you or anyone else. Facts and evidence are not needed in child welfare cases. They simply show up, mark you as GUILTY, and take the children away. It's the old "safe than sorry" thing - or more like "guilty until proven innocent".

I wonder how many on this website crying for Berger's head were the same ones who criticized the left for rushing to judgment in the Loughner/Giffords/Tucson case when they wrongly implicated talk radio, the Tea Party, and conservatives everywhere as being responsible for Loughner's actions? This is the same thing hypocrites.

If Berger is ever arrested, charged, and convicted of a crime - then I won't be here defending him anymore. I'll even go as far as to say I will retract my statements claiming his innocence. But that won't happen, because I know that he is innocent.

If you read nothing I write but this, so be it: Calling for his resignation, or labeling him as guilty, is giving an OK to if it were YOU who was on the receiving end of a phone call from one of your enemies to DSS - where they come, take away your children, subject you to an investigation, and make you look guilty as hell; when there is no evidence to that end. In addition, you are dragged through the mud by a media outlet with an axe to grind, and have to be subjected to an army of know-it-all asshats heaping verdicts of guilt before due process on your head. If that is fine in your book for it to happen to you - then carry on.

You have to ask yourself - why is WECT and the Star News taking a very "non-story" approach to this? It is buried in the Star News without any sensationalism; and buried on WECT's website is a small story that simply says the cops came to the house and found no evidence on any wrongdoing. They found all of the inhabitants to be safe from harm. WWAY is showing their sophomoric vendetta against Berger because in his emotion after this incident, he threatened to sue them if they ran the story.

Two questions

A. Why is he shacked up with a married woman? (Please don't insult everyone's intelligence by claiming he didn't know she was married.)

B. What does that say about his judgment?

Brian Berger SHOULD RESIGN!!

To save our county from further embarrissment!

Wackjob

The girl friend and her family sound like a bunch of wackjob's. As far as DSS giving custody that is crap, only a judge can do that. A lot of the CPS workers abuse their power because they know people are scared of them and do not know the law or their rights. They are also FORBIDDEN by state law from disclosing any information on a case open or closed unless ordered by a judge. Who ever gave out any information broke state law.

Does anyone know this woman?

There are always two sides to every story, or maybe three in this case (the husband's). Who's to say she's credible? She obviously has problems or DSS wouldn't have had reports about her or be investigating her.

TOO MANY WHINY PEOPLE

I can call DSS on anyone, and say there was fighting, and say there were children there, drugs, etc. They have to investigate on the he said she said. Dont you people have lives to worry about? I am sure if I looked at everyone who was writing, I would find alot of wrong doing you do. So as much entertaining as this story was, its like watching paint dry with the comments. I bet more than 90% go to church who wrote on here. I also believe that Jesus invited all sinners to dine with him. So keep judging on the personal issues that happen and remember it will come back to you in one form. I dont judge this man personally but on the way he votes for certain things while in office.

By the way Mr. Berger

By the way Mr. Berger, would you and that three time loser in the Sheriff's race Marc Benson take down your darn campaign signs. I'm about to call Progress Energy and complain. It took long enough for you two to get that ugly sheet spray painted with your names on it off the bilboard on third st. What an eye sore.
Berger can't even rationally decide what to watch on tv with his live in girlfriend and we are hoping he can work together with other county commissioners?

Rush to judgement

Holy Cow! Tough crowd here. There must be "facts" out there that haven't been reported to the general public. Based on this report (and the Star News), I'm not seeing anything that would justify the hammering that Berger is getting.

Taking the text messages of a person who is married to one man but choses to live with another, who has been ordered to take a drug test and who has lost custody of her children and believing them verbatum seems a little risky to me. If you believe Berger, this person was also untruthful as to her marital status. I certainly wouldn't crucify anyone based only on this "evidence" nor would I want anyone to judge me based on this.

Don't know Berger and really don't care to know him but it sure looks to me political agenda is being given far more weight that fairness here.

Brian

I was born here in New Hanover County 79 years here,and never did I think that the people of New Hanover would vote for this guy....I heard him speak at a meeting one time and I could not stop laughing.He talked like a 2 year old. I feel sorry when some one from another area visits New Hanover and meets Berger. There going to think this whole county is DUMB!

Your comment is more telling...

...then you'll ever know. Thank you for giving validity to those of us who know that we did the right thing electing Berger. If those visiting the county that you speak of are to meet you, then God help us all. Few speak more intelligently, and with more passion, and understanding of the issues than Berger. If you are simply referring to the physical quality of his voice, then you are acting about 70 years younger than you claim to be

Impressed

I'm just impressed he has a house. I thought he lived in his parent’s basement.
Why don't we ever do background checks on elected officials before we let them run? We do it for the law enforcement officers and they only enforce the laws, these people write them!

Brian Berger Has Always Been Shady!

As quoted above: "You have already judged and convicted Berger of wrongdoing based solely on the one side presented by the news, and that side is second hand info in the form of a "TEXT MESSAGE". Not exactly admissible like physical signs of domestic abuse or broken toys, etc..."

Are you kidding me? Okay seriously some people need to look stuff up before they try to sound smart. It's an open DSS case which means by law they cannot show that stuff. DSS has to remain impartial and not provide that information. Obviously the news channel is not full of idiots. If they are showing or stating these things they have the ability to prove them otherwise yes, they do open themselves up to lawsuits like slander. (Which by law it is not slander if you have the ability to prove reason to state what you are saying) Having worked for a news station before, we never show or report anything that cannot be verified otherwise yes, we are breaking law and setting ourselves up to be sued. Obviously they have talked to someone "on the inside" who knows exactly what is going on. There are too many details for them to just be blowing smoke.

Brian Berger was always shady during his campaign. Tons of people saw this. He didn't answer questions directly, refused to answer some at all and never provided anyone with real information about himself as a person. Recently he even voted "yes" for something that, per his own words and campaign promises he should have "stood up for the people as the people's watchdog" and said no to! Brian Berger is a joke and if he represents us, the people of New Hanover County, well... it makes me feel like moving. I guess they'll let just about anyone into office nowadays though...

From the murky shadows…

Well, well, that didn't take long. Pop some popcorn ladies and gentlemen, it’s about to get darn interesting. I can’t wait for the kiss and tell coming from Blaylock once she leaves. I wonder what else lurks in his closet?

THE HOBBIT IS DANGEROUS

I have met this nut job personally on several occasions and he should be drug tested...he seems to be disoriented at all times and I think that the people that voted for this obvious drug addict must have done it as a joke...this is more than a black eye for New Hanover County, it is an outright disgrace that he is in office....I for one am embarrassed that he represents us and believe that there is much more horror to come from Brian Berger unless we get him out of there immediately....Is it not time to stop putting criminals in office?....I will finish my rant with a question...Why does a person have to be drug tested, have a background check and undergo some type of competency test for every government job except for a political one?

Abusive

C'mon, WWAY this is clearly unsubstantiated and abusive hate talk. How does this get past your screeners?

A few points to remember

A few points to remember during our rush to judgment about Brian:

1. He has not been arrested or charged with a crime.

2. It is within the realm of possibility that his companion didn't fully inform him of her marital status.

3. Where would we be today if either of his opponents were elected? Brian was a solution to a pre-existing mess of corruption and ineptitude.

presumption all- even Brian Berger is entitled too

It is disappointing that in order to boost ratings wway3 has run this story besmirching a decent guy ---the nuts have come out to take political shots at the one independent commissioner we have- who isnt on the take or threatening to punch out any mayors. DSS should investigate any allegations but they should also investigate who violated state law by sending confidential unverified info to a tv network. Let's give Berger the same presumption we would all want-- no wrongoing presumed---and knowing him I believe this is just another example of political muckraking.

My Lord..only when it is NOT one of yours...

Oh..so when it is might little berger AY cannot do a story on aggression or bad behavoir. I don't know about you..but I don't live with a married woman or have a RING given to a MARRIED woman..that is ILLEGAL in this state..nor do I have the police coming over with CHILDREN IN THE HOUSE..all of that WAS TRUE...no need for DSS friend...THIS IS A COUNTY COMMMISSIONER...he should be censured for ethics on this behavior..he has violated the law..been immoral here and had CHILDREN in the house while doing it.

All of you all will jump on some big ole band wagon when its a democrat...but God forbid anyone say anyting about your tea party boy....please....

way to go AY!

Berger may have grounds to sue

WWAY said: "Late this afternoon we learned that DSS has ordered her to take a drug test. It also said the children are not allowed back in Berger's house until it's deemed safe and gave Blaylock's husband Richard indefinite custody."

Learned from who? DSS? Thats not true. So who then? Why not say an unnamed unverified source. You cant verify that.

This makes you extremely liable to a civil action.
'
Whether or not Berger did anything is moot. Your publishing this the way you did is wrong and I hope you have pay.

Brian's Daddy's Comment

Brian, is your daddy trying to bail you out...AGAIN!