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THE RANT: Brian Berger, ever the victim

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY’S ‘THE RANT’) — New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger has only been in office some eight months now. Seems much longer, honestly. He’s been in the news numerous times over those some 240 days. Just Google his name and check out page after page of stories. They’re not about his voting record, or even his leadership. They’re all about his shenanigans. He can’t show up for meetings on time. He can’t keep his relationship with his girlfriend under control. He can’t keep the police from being called to his house. And now it seems he wants to blame all that on everyone else … the media, the police, the good ol’ boy network. You name it, and they’re out to get him.

It all started back in March, when Berger emailed County Manager Bruce Shell and other county employees a lengthy rant, accusing them of withholding information that he had requested.

He also accused fellow Commissioner Rick Catlin of holding secret meetings and stealing his notes then passing them off to the media. At that point the commission actually discussed censuring Berger and heightened security at meetings because they were concerned about his temper.

Then in May he claimed commissioners ambushed and verbally attacked him at a planning session meeting after getting there 30 minutes late. They wanted his opinion about funding Wilmington Downtown Inc., but he refused to give them an answer, even though he sits on that board. The meeting got heated and Berger claimed he had been attacked viciously and on a personal level.

Just a month later, Berger’s girlfriend Heather Blaylock called police saying she needed their help picking up some of her belongings at Berger’s house. She said she didn’t feel safe being there by herself. In fact, Berger ripped the handle off her car trying to stop her when she drove away. Police arrested Berger, he spent the night in jail and was told to stay away from Blaylock. Charges were later dropped and he and Blaylock are still dating.

Berger now calls that a “false arrest” and says he has met with Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous to discuss an accusation of the police being out to get him.

Also this summer, the local newspaper discovered that Berger had lied about his claim of being a consultant and was drawing unemployment from Washington, DC. It was tipped off to the unemployment paperwork by a county employee. Berger then demanded that the sheriff’s department investigate who leaked the information, even though the information in the documentation was public record. The investigation turned up nothing and was closed.

This week, police were called to his home yet again, the third time this year. Blaylock called 911 claiming Berger was upset and needed help. In the police report, Blaylock says Berger had guns and a knife. It also says Berger had a cut that was made with a razor. Police removed a pistol from his home which Berger denies owning. He was also taken to the hospital and released.

Berger says it was all just part of an ongoing argument with Blaylock regarding the arrest in June. He also called out Chief Evangelous claiming police falsified the report, which says alcohol and or drugs were involved.

And now he finally admits Blaylock has issues and is causing undue drama.

Mr. Berger, STOP PLAYING THE VICTIM! No one is making you date this woman. No one keeps you from showing up for meetings on time, if you show up at all. No one causes all of this dysfunction in your life, EXCEPT FOR YOU! It’s time you grew up Mr. Berger. Being a county commissioner is a job for an adult. From what we’ve seen over the past eight months, you are not capable. May we formally suggest that you make a tough decision and either break up with Heather and get your act straight, or resign ASAP so this county can get back to business. You are a distraction and have single-handedly made the New Hanover County Commission a circus.

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