Berger says he will not resign - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

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Berger says he will not resign despite requests from commissioners

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Commissioners in New Hanover County held a news conference Wednesday afternoon where they asked fellow Commissioner Brian Berger to resign. Commissioners in New Hanover County held a news conference Wednesday afternoon where they asked fellow Commissioner Brian Berger to resign.
Berger has been in several media headlines as a commissioner, most recently for allegedly sending text messages to Heather Blaylock saying that he's going to harm himself, according to police reports. Berger has been in several media headlines as a commissioner, most recently for allegedly sending text messages to Heather Blaylock saying that he's going to harm himself, according to police reports.

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – WECT News is the first to report that New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger will not resign.

Commissioner Berger released this statement exclusively to WECT News Wednesday night saying he will continue with his county duties.

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Wilmington, N.C., September 7, 2011— County Commissioner Brian Berger delivered the following statement today. 

"This statement is in response to the four members of the County Board of Commissioners who met, called a press conference and requested my resignation as a Member of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.  The past few weeks have presented a number of challenges and difficulties in my personal life. I am sure that many of you can understand unexpected circumstances that may arise in our day to day lives that cause one to react in ways that they may not under ordinary conditions.

"I extend my apologies to the citizens of New Hanover County for any way in which  the challenges of my normally quiet personal life impacted them. November 2010, I was elected by the people of New Hanover County to serve as their representative on the Board of County Commissioners; I look forward to continuing my service to our community. To all of you who have prayed for me and offered words of support and encouragement during this time, please know that I am truly appreciative."

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Commissioners have been saying that their hands are tied when it comes to Berger's resignation.

In North Carolina, there is not an impeachment process.

Voters chose Brian Berger for the position so he is an elected official and that means county commissioners cannot force Berger out of his position.

Some cities do have the power to do a recall election, but no counties have been granted that power by the General Assembly.

New Hanover County GOP Chairwoman Rhonda Amoroso released this statement to WECT  regarding Berger.

"As a citizen of New Hanover County, I have two major concerns," said Amoroso.

"First, is for Brian's well-being. Second, is whether he can be effective in performing the job he was elected to do. He has to answer those questions."

Amoroso told WECT that she did raise the resignation issue with Berger in a conversation. She again said, he has to answer those questions.

This all comes after other commissioners in New Hanover County held a news conference Wednesday afternoon where they asked fellow Commissioner Brian Berger to resign.

Commissioner Jonathan Barfield spoke first questioning how effective Berger can be in his current condition.  He said Berger's actions are taking away from the positive work the board is trying to accomplish.

"We are here to represent all citizens, we have to be effective," said Barfield.

Berger has been in several media headlines as a commissioner, most recently for allegedly sending text messages to Heather Blaylock saying that he's going to harm himself, according to police reports.

The police report said Berger admitted to officers that "he cut himself during the night intentionally and has been depressed since his recent arrest and has been on anti-depressants."

The commissioner, however, accused the police for releasing false information regarding the situation.

During the news conference Wednesday, Jason Thompson publicly apologized to the Wilmington Police Department and Chief Ralph Evangelous for the accusations Berger made against the department.   He made it clear that Berger's actions in no way reflect the feelings of the board.  Thompson also apologized to the citizens in the community.

Commissioners said the decision to ask Berger to resign did not come lightly and is a result of a series of serious events.  They feel he has left them with no other alternatives as a board.

"I'm not here to kick a man when he's down, but Brian needs help," said Commissioner Ted Davis.  "My heart goes out to Brian."

Davis has been with New Hanover County Commissioners since 1996 and said he has never seen anything like this.  He is a senior member of the commissioners and said he will support his fellow commissioners.

Berger was also arrested and charged earlier this year with assault after a verbal altercation with Blaylock.  He is accused of ripping the car handle off of Blaylock's car.  The assault charges were dropped a few days later.


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