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Pickering issues demand on former county supervisor

LEAKESVILLE — State Auditor Stacey Pickering has issued a demand to former Greene County Supervisor Earnest Holder for $130,673 after being found guilty of bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery in April 2011 in the United States District Court, Southern District of Mississippi.

Holder was a part of an illegal kickback scheme carried out through a contract for Hurricane Katrina debris removal. Agents retrieved $17,200 from Holder’s home, and the money was taken by the FBI and logged into evidence.

The investigation showed Holder received this money from a contractor that received a debris removal contract from Greene County Board of Supervisors.

As of May 20, Holder was removed from his position as Greene County Supervisor.

Demands were also issued against supervisors Harold Cook, William Morris Hill and J.M. “Buddy” Crocker, who voted to approve, along with Holder, the payment of $25,000 for the criminal defense of Holder.

According to Pickering, statutory authority does not exist for funds to be expended for a public official for the purpose of a defense attorney, when the action of the defendant is outside the scope of his duties and the action is prohibited by state or federal law. Holder’s demand included his portion of the $25,000 in attorney fees.

“These demands represent over $150,000 owed back to the taxpayers of Greene County as a result of fraud committed by Holder and misuse of public funds by four members of the Greene County Board of Supervisors,” said Pickering. “The State Auditor’s Office began investigating Earnest Holder in 2006, and I appreciate the work of the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service and their efforts in this investigation and the United States Attorney for prosecuting the case.”

Source: State Auditor’s Office

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