Aaron Sadler, an Arkansas State University graduate who works in public relations in Little Rock, has used the Freedom of Information Act to dig up some information from his alma mater about the gifts made to ASU by Kade Holliday, the Republican who resigned as Craighead County clerk after being charged with 13 felonies for taking $1.6 million in public money for personal use.

Sadler inquired, as I did, where matters stood on a $500,000 pledge Holliday, a trombonist, made in 2019 to the jazz program at ASU. I got a limited response from the Jonesboro campus. I was told the information on how much he’d provided so far wasn’t public information because it was a pledge to the ASU Foundation.


Sadler went through the ASU System office in Little Rock and got more information.

You can see everything he dug up on his Twitter thread.


He learned, among others, that Holliday gave ASU $5,000 last month, near the end of his withdrawals of public money for transfer to personal accounts.

ASU told Sadler that the separate $500,000 pledge in 2019 was to be paid in seven years and that he’d paid $10,000 in 2019 and $15,000 in January, the sum now worth only about $23,000 because of market losses. On March 11 of this year, he contributed $30,000 separately to a jazz discretionary fund. (In that month, a lawsuit says, he transferred almost $400,000 in county money to his personal accounts.)


The school said it had frozen both jazz accounts until further legal proceedings.

Sadler’s FOI request unearthed a recommendation from a Jonesboro campus official to issue a statement that the gift would be suspended on account of the filing of charges against Holliday.

Sadler, a former journalist, closes:

As an alumnus, I continue to call on ASU to do the right thing and cancel this pledge immediately. The school owes it to their community and to Craighead County taxpayers. I also appreciate ASU for its timely and thorough response to my FOIA request.

And speaking of Kade Holliday, NEA Report has put together a collection of Holliday’s Facebook posts during the time he was spending county money (and occasionally restoring some of it).