NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Leaders in New Hanover County spent nearly $68,000 in legal fees on a failed attempt to remove fellow commissioner Brian Berger from public office, according to county records.
Invoices from the county's hired attorney from Ward and Smith list the total for representing New Hanover County at $67,794.86. The paperwork separates the county's bill into two categories: the initial estimate and extra work the attorney calls "irrelevant and/or spurious issues."
The initial estimate is listed at $25,615.18, which includes conferences, reviews and analysis of Berger's appeal to the amotion process that removed him from office.
Several motions from Berger's attorney created unexpected work for the hired help, which meant the "legal fees were increased substantially" according to the invoice.
That increase was $42,179.68.
The outside legal counsel cost $295 per hour, which was a discount from the standard rate of $400, according to the invoice.
A judge ruled that Berger be reinstated to the Board of Commissioners.
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