WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger showed up late for this morning’s Commission meeting. His tardiness meant he missed voting on the consent agenda, including the filling of community boards, passed 4-0. That list of board posts included pulling Berger off most of the boards on which he sat, except for the Legion Stadium Complex Commission and the Transportation Advisory Committee.
Near the end of the meeting, Berger chastised commissioners for pulling him from the boards. He said he would “come down on them like a hammer on a nail.”
Vice Chairman Jonathan Barfield fired back by calling Berger for showing up late again and missing any discussion and the vote of the board assignment. There’s no word yet on why Berger was late to the meeting. During his first year in office, his tardiness or absence at Commission meetings and community boards has become somewhat common.
Chairman Ted Davis also called out Berger. He said Berger has an issue with telling the whole truth. Davis said after Thursday’s Agenda Briefing meeting he saw news stories in whichBerger said he felt ambushed by the other commissioners’ decision. Davis said Berger should not have been surprised because he had requested to meet with Davis that afternoon about board assignments and knew what his colleagues were considering. Davis said Berger called 20 minutes after their meeting was to begin saying he’d be late and asking if they could meet 20 minutes after that. Berger did not show up until 45 minutes later, when the Agenda Briefing had begun.
After that meeting, his colleagues said they lacked confidence that Berger could adequately represent the county publicly, given multiple issues this year, including being arrested twice. His most recent arrest came last month for allegedly violating a protective order filed by his ex-girlfriend. Berger is due in court next month on that charge.
Berger said the other commissioners are retaliating against him because of his political beliefs and because he stands for transparency and uncovering corruption. To date, Berger has not revealed any concrete evidence of corruption among his fellow commissioners.
Early Friday morning Berger launched an e-mail battle by sending an accusatory message to Commissioner Rick Catlin. The message prompted responses from Catlin and Commissioner Jason Thompson.
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