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New Hanover County Commission Chair calls for Brian Berger's resignation


At a news conference Friday afternoon, New Hanover County Commission Chair Woody White called for Brian Berger’s resignation.  The call came after a series of recent incidents that have heightened concerns about the safety of county staffers and what some are calling Berger’s deteriorating mental condition. 

According to Scott Pickey, News Director at WWAY TV3, who attended the press conference, “Chairman Woody White claims that Brian Berger rushed up to the Governor a couple of times.  He said he was disheveled, red-eyed, drool running down his mouth and chin, and trying to hand him this manifesto – this 10-page manifesto which has to deal with him getting kicked off the DSS Board last year.”

It happened during Governor Pat McCrory’s visit to Wilmington on Thursday. 

The document Berger handed the Governor also contains detailed accusations regarding violations of federal and state law by current and former public officials.  But it's the pattern of escalation -- culminating in the accosting of Governor McCrory at a groundbreaking ceremony for Cape Fear Community College's Fine Arts Center that prompted the Friday morning call from Woody White for Berger’s resignation.

WWAY's Scott Pickey said,

“Chairman White sent Brian Berger on the county email server an email encouraging him to resign once again and to seek mental help.” 

"Again" – because it’s the second time in two years that a county chair has asked Berger to step down and get professional help. 

Woody White is also seeking a restraining order against Berger, according to Pickey.  And White claims there’s proof that Berger tried to get into the offices of some county staffers late at night, so he’ll work to limit Berger’s access to the building.

At Friday’s news conference, Scott Pickey of WWAY also asked Woody White how this call for Berger's resignation is different.

Scott Pickey:  “Because there’s no way to make him resign – what are you going to do differently this time – he said the county is exploring what’s called a 50c – which is a restraining order for someone who you believe is mentally unsound and it would keep him away from the county offices.” 

Berger also recently traveled to Washington, D.C. where, WWAY reports, he passed out copies of his manifesto.  When he returned, he submitted $3600 in receipts for reimbursement from the county.  County officials had warned Berger beforehand that he wouldn’t be reimbursed for the trip.  Berger also told WWAY by phone that he has no plans to step down. 

Woody White’s email to Brian Berger:
From: White, Woody [mailto:wwhite@nhcgov.com] 
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2013 10:26 AM
To: Berger, Brian; Chesnut, Renee; County Commissioners; Coudriet, Chris; Burgess, Tim; Pinder, Avril; Schult, Sheila
Cc: Copley, Wanda; Huffman, Sharon; Woody White
Subject: RE:
  It is  my opinion that the County Attorney does not have to honor your request to meet with you, and our fellow Commissioiners can respond on their opinion, as well.  Your recent actions are disturbing, and have given us all grave concern about the escalation in your mental health issues.  Your rambling, incoherent comments and actions over the last 20 days - culminating in the security risk you posed to the Governor of North Carolina yesterday - have given us all reason to stay away from you.  Your actions have been erractic, delusional, and manic.  The emails, test messages, and constant harrassment of staff are unacceptable.  They (and I) feel unsafe when you are present, and no one wants to meet with you, because of the risk you pose.  The heightened progession of your mental delusions result in us all feeling unsafe.  And they result in distracting us from the real business we need to do for the citizens.

Brian, I have represented many people over the years, who exhibit an identical pattern as you, and I have seen them benefit, greatly, from seeking help from a physician and counselor.  I have helped many of them get back on their feet and have been gratified with their many success stories.  But the failures I have seen are due to the denial of a problem.  Those that continue in the downward spiral are those that refuse help, and do not recognize the need for help.

  I implore you to gather with your friends and family, and seek treatment.  I will help with that, if asked, for free.  But I also ask - implore - that you resign immediately.  It is time.  It was time for you to do so long ago, but these recent episodes have reached a critical mass.



To read Brian Berger's "manifesto", follow this link, courtesy of WWAYTV3: