Berger's removal from board not new territory for NHC commissioners

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - New Hanover County Commissioners are not forging new territory when it comes to removing board members for their county-appointed positions, according to correspondence from county officials.

Late last year, commissioners voted to remove fellow Commissioner Brian Berger from several of his appointed positions, including spots with the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and Wilmington Downtown Inc.  The move came as a surprise to Berger, who called it an ambush at the time.  Commissioners said they wanted the best possible people in those positions.

Berger considers the move by his colleagues illegal, but said he does not plan to pursue legal action to get his assignments back.

In a recent request of county officials, Berger asked for "any historical reference to removal of a Board Member from a Board without cause."

The clerk for the board, Sheila Schult, found two examples for commissioners.  In 1991, the commissioners removed the entire planning board.  In late 2002, commissioners did not reappoint then-Commissioner Bill Caster to a spot on the New Hanover Regional Medical Center Board, despite Caster's request to stay in that spot.

Instead, they appointed then-Commissioner Julia Boseman.

Berger also spoke about his fiery emails that tend to attract much attention.

Commissioner Berger has gained a reputation recently for his late night email blasts, as he's sent them to several people in New Hanover County, including WECT.

His fellow commissioners have warned him about the image the emails create, and Berger told Wednesday that they're the result of occasional lapses in judgment.

Berger says he's done with his late night emails – instead, he says he'll wait until the morning to call the people his emails are intended for.

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