WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chairman Woody White once again called for fellow commissioner Brian Berger to step down, days after another arrest. Speaking at the endMore >>
New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chairman Woody White once again called for fellow commissioner Brian Berger to step down, days after another arrest.More >>
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger sent a text message late Thursday night to WECT.
The embattled politician, however, declined to say what he plans to do about a warrant that has been issued for his arrest.
In his text message, Berger suggested he was being threatened by at least one fellow commissioner and the news media.
My security and the safety of my loved ones makes it wise not to advertise. If you knew what I've had put on me, the threats, attacks, and some in positions of trust were in approval and possibly involved, I don't know, but I know there's been questionable conduct if not illegal assaults on my Constitutional and civil rights by a few bad apples. That's why I requested an independent federal investigation. Which was twisted dishonestly by woody white and media into a "threat" - expressing concern for people and animals close to me. Its those lies that define politics today and the media has failed to ask about such absurd statements. I'm just not a smooth lawyer out to mislead the public and profit from public service. I am devoted to keeping the promises I made during my campaign, but a flawed human with shortcomings and faults, and communication-deficiencies any slick politician can easily exploit and take advantage of with great success. Truth hurts, even me.
Berger was expected in court Thursday morning, but he never showed up. A judge, in turn, issued a warrant for the commissioner's arrest.
Berger was expected in court to face felony drug charges that stem from his arrest December 6, 2013.
Earlier, Thursday afternoon, Berger sent a series of text messages to WECT after learning about the arrest warrant.
He defended himself claiming not to know about his court appearance Thursday. Berger wrote,
I was scheduled for court jan 16, jan 29 and feb 20. I was there the 16th. No notice of a change in schedule was provided. I'm sick of all the dishonesty and evil. Its wrong, heartless, and people have been killed and victimized during a witchunt for 3+ years. I offered to turn myself in to authorities twice today, and received no response from my attorney, woody white's buddy. I have the text message(s) to prove it. I cannot control the weather. And no body mentioned anything about a court date when I was there just this past Thursday. My attorney sent a letter Friday that was not in my mail at the end of last week (dated jan 17, postmarked ?)
Berger told us Thursday afternoon he was in New York and that's the reason for him missing court.
"I got caught in the storm that caused chaos after the long weekend." He continued, "More will be said, but not now, not like this."
According to jail documents, Berger was arrested and charged with DWI, impeding traffic and possession of schedule II drugs after he was found slumped over the wheel of his car, unconscious.
Authorities said officers found several bottles of pills in the car when they arrived on scene.
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners removed Berger from the board in May via the "amotion process." A judge, however, sided with Berger's appeal and he was reinstated on the board, with a list of rules.
The new guidelines for Berger state he will not be able to use county vehicles or have a county credit card. He must be on time to meetings and he's not allowed to abuse his email privileges by sending what commissioners called "rambling emails" to county staff.
Commissioners said in September they would not seek another amotion hearing to remove Berger from the board if things went well over the next few weeks.
According to state law, a felony conviction would automatically remove Berger from the board of commissioners.
Stay with wect.com for the latest on this developing story.