- Associated Press - Monday, January 5, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - An outgoing district attorney, former congressional candidate and son of North Carolina Senate leader Phil Berger is now a judge who hears challenges to state agency decisions.

The Office of Administrative Hearings says a swearing-in ceremony for new Administrative Law Judge Phil Berger Jr. was held Monday. Chief Judge Julian Mann appointed him effective Jan. 1, succeeding now special Superior Court Judge Beecher Gray.

The younger Berger was Rockingham County prosecutor the past eight years and lost the Republican primary in the 6th Congressional District last July to eventual winner Mark Walker. Berger previously led the state district attorneys’ association.

Mann has also hired Bill Culpepper III as the office’s general counsel. Culpepper is a former state House rules chairman from Edenton and ex-Utilities Commission member.

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