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Update: ‘Marred by Controversy,’ Commissioner from Coastal County Arrested Again; This Time in Avery

By Jesse Wood

June 11, 2014. A New Hanover County Commissioner was arrested in Avery County Tuesday, leading the Wilmington StarNews to write that “Brian Berger is in trouble with the law again, only this time it’s in the northwestern part of North Carolina.”

Berger was charged with probation violation and possession of schedule II narcotics, which is a category that includes Oxycodone and raw opium, the StarNews notes. Berger’s bail was set at $300,000.

Lumina News, a coastal carolina publication, added some more details to the story on Wednesday evening. The arrest by the Beech Mountain Police Department came a day after a warrant was issued. Lumina News reported the following:

“A Beech Mountain Police Department press release states Sargent T. Barnett was dispatched to Berger’s location on June 9 to respond to gunshots fired in the area.

Because Berger would not open the door, Sgt. Barnett conversed with him through the door, acquiring his name and birthdate. After discovering the order for his arrest, officers returned on June 10 and found Berger surrounded by a small arsenal of weapons including a switchblade, sword, crossbow, 37 mm grenade launcher, pistols, air guns and rifles with high capacity magazines.

Officers reported Berger did not resist arrest or reach for the weapons.”


Berger had only appeared at a New Hanover County Commission meeting twice in the past six months, according to the StarNews. He was arrested on Dec. 6 and charged with DWI and drug possession. He plead guilty a few months later and was given 120-day and 45-day suspended jail sentences and a year of probation for the two charges.

The StarNews also reported that Berger’s time on the commission “has been marred by controversy” with regular requests that he step down:

“On March 21, 2013, for instance, Berger was removed by security from the Cape Fear Community College Humanities and Fine Arts Center groundbreaking after unexpectedly approaching Gov. Pat McCrory.

Shortly after, Berger’s fellow commissioners upped security at public meetings and revoked Berger’s after-hours access to the Government Center.”

Click to the Wilmington StarNews article and the Lumina News to read more about Berger.