New Hanover County Commission Chairman Woody White said the
request for Commissioner Brian Berger to resign is a culmination of events
throughout the past 20 days.
During a news conference on Friday, March 22, White said he
felt the tipping point was reached early Friday when Berger emailed County
Attorney Wanda Copley requesting a meeting.
“It’s frightened our staff,” White said. “It has made us
feel increasingly unsafe.”
On Thursday, March 21, during the groundbreaking ceremony
for the Cape Fear Community College Humanities and Fine Arts Center, Berger
handed Gov. Pat McCrory one of 2,000 copies of a manifesto he had written.
White asked state troopers to stay between McCrory and
Berger, who White said had red eyes, was shaking and had drool coming out the
side of his mouth.
“I don’t think he really posed a physical threat,” he said. “…
A lot of this is old news, but it’s not to him.”
Berger was also asked to resign by a former board on Sept.
7, 2011, due to conflicts and problems stemming from his personal life, which
all culminated in a suicide attempt on Aug. 28.
“If he doesn’t, we’re going to maintain a high level of
awareness,” White said. “… We cannot remove him. People put him there.”
No decision has been made, but White said court options
could be sought and Copley has been consulted about Chapter 50C of North
Carolina General Statutes regarding civil no-contact orders.
White has offered his services as an attorney to Berger.
“It’s unfair to burden the other four commissioners with
this,” White said. “… We’re in uncharted waters here, and that’s the bottom
Safety precautions are also being taken to ensure Berger
cannot be let into the office of County Manager Chris Coudriet or Copley with
his county card, as he has previously gained access.
White said he has not had any correspondence with Berger
since an email he sent March 22, requesting his resignation.