Berger feels 'ambushed' after NHC commissioners vote to keep him off of committees

Commissioner Brian Berger
Commissioner Brian Berger

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Commissioners in New Hanover County unofficially voted during their agenda brief meeting Thursday afternoon to remove Brian Berger from committees he is currently on.

They also want to prevent Berger from joining any new committees he is interested in the future.

The unofficial vote was four in favor of the motion, one against – Berger being the one against.

Berger says he did not expect the move, which he labeled "an ambush" by other members of the board. Thursday night, Berger lashed out at his fellow board members, accusing them of breaking the law.

"I suspect that most or at least some of the other board members have violated the reasonable ethical standards that are in place for an elected official," said Berger. "And [they] very well may have broken the law…I would say probably all of them."

Davis says Thursday's move is not personal, it's professional and more about putting the best people in the best spots to represent the county.

"I want to see Brian get help," said county commission chair Ted Davis. "Brian will never get help unless he acknowledges that he needs help and takes whatever steps are necessary to get help."

Berger claims he was removed from the boards because he doesn't see eye-to-eye with his fellow commissioners on the issues.

When asked if he thought the votes had anything to do with his previous arrests from this year, he said, "No, because it was a false arrest. I haven't broken any laws. I certainly have done some bizarre things during a one-week period that I would like to have back."

Still, Davis disagrees.

"If Brian will start doing what he's supposed to do in a timely fashion and being prepared and taking part of the discussions and being a positive influence, I think that would go a long way with this board of commissioners," said Davis.

Commissioners will have an official vote during their meeting Monday. 

Berger has made headlines for much of 2011 with various issues with commissioners and in his personal life.

Most recently the commissioner was arrested for violating a personal protection order his ex-girlfriend issued against him.

In March he claimed commissioners were holding secret meetings without him and said he was working in a "den of snakes."  Additionally, Berger has been notorious for being late to several commissioners meetings throughout the year.

In June, the commissioner was arrested by Wilmington Police and charged with assault on a female after he ripped a car door handle off his ex-girlfriend's car.  A few months later Berger was taken to the hospital after allegedly attempting suicide.

In September, the four other commissioners held a new conference to publicly ask Berger to step down from his position, but he refused.  Berger later held his own news conference pledging to continue as commissioner.

Related stories:

Copyright 2011 WECT. All rights reserved.