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Top U.S. atty owed $4K tax in E. Elmhurst

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his brother were recently found to have neglected to pay more than $4,000 plus interest in property taxes on their childhood home in East Elmhurst, but the Department of Justice said Holder’s brother settled the debt last week.

Matt Miller, a spokesman for the department, said the attorney general and his brother, William “Billy” Holder, had inherited the house after their mother Miriam died from cancer Aug. 13, 2010. She had been the sole owner of the house ever since her husband, Eric Himpton Holder Sr., died in the 1990s.

“There were two payments that were missed in the last month of her life,” Miller said, explaining that the attorney general’s mother had become sick during that time.

The house had been vacant ever since Miriam Holder died. The brothers had missed three payments afterward, racking up $4,146 in fees.

Miller said the estate is still being resolved, which led to the oversight.

Billy Holder ended up paying the sum, plus $73.14 in interest, Friday after the New York Post asked Eric Holder about the debt. The Post reported the house, a two-story brick dwelling on 101st Street, has a market value of $417,000.

Eric Holder grew up in East Elmhurst not far away from the home of Borough President Helen Marshall. As Eric Holder was being considered for the post of attorney general, Marshall praised both him and his mother Miriam, whom she worked with on a PTA.

“He was a very talented youngster. He was always a really talented young person,” Marshall said in 2008. “I know his mother is thrilled to death.”

The attorney general currently lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife, physician Dr. Sharon Malone, and their three children.

Eric Holder, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, is the first African American to be U.S. attorney general. He had previously become the first black deputy U.S. attorney general in 1997 under President Bill Clinton.

The neighborhood of East Elmhurst is known as the home of many prominent black Americans, including civil rights activist Malcolm X. Singer Ella Fitzgerald, jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and New York Mets player Willie Mays also lived at one point in the East Elmhurst/Corona neighborhood.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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