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Supervisor out on bond, faces kickback charges

GREENE COUNTY — Greene County Supervisor Earnest Holder is out on $20,000 bond after a week in the Stone County Regional Correctional Facility.

The 69-year-old supervisor was convicted Aug. 20 on one federal tax evasion count in an alleged kickback scheme for a debris removal contract.

Prosecutors argued last Friday that he should be held as a flight risk, because he could get up to 23 years in prison if he also is convicted on three remaining charges on which jurors could not agree.

But U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Parker set the bond, ordering Holder not to make contact with any potential witness in future trials.

He said Holder may attend county board meetings, but cannot talk about anything related to the alleged scheme involving Mid-South Pipe Co.

The jury that convicted him Aug. 20 acquitted him on a second tax evasion count and could not agree on charges of bribery, perjury and conspiracy to commit bribery. U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett ruled a mistrial on those counts.

Holder is set to be sentenced Oct. 28. He faces up to three years in prison and up to $100,000 in fines and court costs on the tax evasion charge. Defense attorneys said they expect a sentence of 10 to 16 months, while prosecutor Ruth Morgan said she expects 15 to 21.

State law designed to remove convicted felons from office includes an exception for violations to the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

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