WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger got out of jail Friday morning, fellow Commissioner Jason Thompson, picked him up, took him to lunch and dropped Berger at home.
WWAY’s Asha Davé was the only reporter at Berger’s house when the commissioner returned, but Berger said he had nothing to say about what happened or his night in jail.
“Nope. Just want to see my dog,” Berger said.
We asked Berger if he thought the arrest was any reflection on his county service.
“I’ve been doing a great job representing tax payers. That’s my first priority, and I’m going to continue to do that,” he said as he slammed close the door to his house.
New Hanover County Republican Party Chairwoman Rhonda Amoroso said the GOP did back Berger as a Republican back in November.
“The folks here in this county got Brian Berger elected,” she said. “He is a Republican. He is responsible for his own actions, though, as well.”
Now the party is investigating the incident that led to Berger’s arrest Thursday night.
Commissioner Thompson said while the charges are not yet convictions, he did advise Berger to get a game plan, put aside anything that distracts from county business and keep private and public affairs separate.
“This is a personal issue, but it certainly brings into account your judgment as a commissioner,” Thompson said. “If you would allow yourself to get in this situation, what else might you not have good judgement on. You know discretion, best way to handle a problem.”
While the alleged victim Heather Blaylock did not want to talk publicly, her sister Holly Jones and Holly’s fiancé Adam Nicoletti said they were shocked, because the last they knew, Berger and Blaylock had broken up. But they say Berger has a history of violence.
“I’m not surprised in the least,” Nicoletti said. “Every time I met the guy, something kind of seemed off about him.”
Jones said, “I don’t have anything against Brian personally until all of this stuff started coming up, and now I have reason to fear for my nephews’ safety. I think that this might actually not be the end of it to be honest.”
Blaylock did tell WWAY her children were not involved in Thursday night’s incident.
Berger is charged with assault on a female and damage to personal property. If convicted of the assault charge, he could face up to 150 days in jail. Because they are misdemeanors, a conviction would not affect his ability to serve as a county commissioner.