More on Kade Holliday, the former Republican county clerk in Craighead County who resigned the post yesterday after being charged in a scheme to tap public money for $1.6 million for his personal use.
Thanks to David Koon for poring over Holliday’s social media for some of his high flying over the years (not necessarily with public money), which included a promised $500,000 gift last year to Arkansas State University to endow jazz scholarships. Cue “Take Five.” ASU won’t say how much of the money had been tendered.
As I reported here first yesterday, the scheme with which he has been charged was to tap county employee payroll withholding for transfers to accounts Holliday controlled. Holliday’s businesses reportedly included a new restaurant/club venture in Jonesboro that was hit shortly after opening in February with the pandemic shutdown. He also had businesses in Tennessee, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday.
I haven’t found a paper trail on the businesses yet, but here’s the lawsuit filed by the county yesterday to try to get its hands on money Holliday hasn’t yet spent and also to seize any assets held by companies he controlled. County officials are covered by a bond, but it’s not believed to be sufficient to cover all the money Holliday is believed to have diverted.
The clerk serves as bookkeeper for all of county government. The suit, by the county judge, says Holliday was in charge of submitting reports on withholding for income tax, unemployment, Social Security, retirement and insurance.
Holliday was supposed to pay these sums from a payroll account at Centennial Bank. But an audit found he’d transferred 13 payments to personal accounts since the first of this year. They went either to his personal account or HDM LLC (Holliday Management and Development). Payments began Jan. 23 with a transfer of more than $86,000 to Holliday’s personal account. The payments continued through June 25, in amounts up to $217,000, with a total in transfers of $1.579 million. Accounting so far shows the state and federal governments haven’t been paid $1.41 million they’re owed for taxes, retirement and other accounts. His last payment, of $14,678 to his personal account, was made the day a state auditor met with the county judge and prosecutor about improper transfers.
The suit seeks an order to prevent Holliday from changing his records or transferring any funds or assets. It also wants him barred from visiting banks, including Centennial and Simmons, with which he had financial relationships. The suit asks the court to preserve any assets until the case can be decided.
The suit, which notes that Holliday ran on the platform of “do the right thing,” says the county’s full loss hasn’t been determined but says it’s more than $1.6 million. To date, there’s no indication of theft before this calendar year. Holliday has been in office since 2013.
The suit seeks the appointment of a receiver to get to the bottom of Holliday’s dealings and make a full accounting.
The motion for a temporary restraining order claims it is “highly likely that he may attempt to abscond” because of civil and criminal proceedings. It says he also has business ventures in Memphis and Nashville.
He is charged with 13 counts of theft and one count of abuse of office. According to a statement his lawyer gave KAIT, he resigned yesterday and would cooperate in the investigation. A judge had already ordered him suspended from office because of the criminal charges. He made an initial appearance in court today and bond was set at $150,000.
Perhaps he has some real property with a value that can be recovered.
It is unclear what “pillars” are referred to here, but this post came eight days before the first transfer from a county account to a personal account.Holliday is stil shown on the county jail roster at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday with a $150,000 bond. Here are bond details from NEA Report.
Holliday, who did bond out, had once predicted 2020 would be momentous. Thanks to Stan Morris of NEA Report for this find, posted just a few weeks before Holliday turned on the public money tap.