WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Former New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger has filed a discrimination complaint against his former colleagues on the Board of Commissioners, claiming he was harassed because of his disability.
Berger's two page complaint claims retaliation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The paperwork to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission does not state the specific disability.
However, in a hearing to remove Berger from office in May, his attorney noted that Berger has autism. Chairman Woody White and commissioners Jonathan Barfield and Beth Dawson all mentioned that was the first time that they learned of Berger's diagnosis. Commissioners voted in May to remove Berger from office.
In his complaint, Berger claims he was ultimately removed from office because of his disability. The complaint states that Berger was subjected to derogatory comments about his disability, including name calling and a release of his personnel file and medical information to the media and the public.
Berger states that he made several internal complaints about being subjected to the harassment but no action was taken.
The county has until September 3 to respond to the complaint.
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