Craighead County Judge provides details on Holliday case, investigation

Craighead County Judge provides details on Holliday case, investigation

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - There were stacks of subpoenaed bank records Thursday on the desk of Craighead County Judge Marvin Day.

Those records, Day said, may provide investigators important details in a criminal and civil case against former Craighead County Clerk Kade Holliday.

Holliday resigned this week after his arrest on suspicion of theft of property and abuse of office. Officials have alleged Holliday, who was elected in 2012, embezzled over $1.4 million in county funds.

For Day, the investigation began with a phone call June 25.

“Someone pointed out there were some irregularities in the county account,” Day said.

Day said he believes the issue has mushroomed into something unbelievable, with the alleged embezzlement happening between Jan. 23 and June 25 of this year.

“Kade had set it up where he’s the only one getting the bank statement. He’s the only one who had access to the account. He’s the only one writing checks on it. You know, no checks and balances at all,” Day said.

Day noted that the Division of Legislative Audit helped uncover details on the situation.

“You know, understanding how legislative audit works. You look at it, he purposely started in January because he knew that that it won’t get audited until this time next year. At that, it’s my opinion why he did it,” Day said.

Day said he has also spoken with business owners who have ties to Holliday’s business investments including the Edge Coffee House and Twisted Foods, about the issue.

“We need to have a pro-business stance and we need to work with them,” Day said.

Day said the next step in the process is two-fold. First, investigators must find out more. And second, there must be accountability in county government, especially on policy.

“What we’re really looking for is where is the money? Where did it go?,” Day said, noting much of the information is now coming to light.

Day said officials have become aware of other entities that Holliday was involved with where the same thing may have happened.

As for policy, Day said officials are working on a plan to create a better, more accountable system.

“We’re going to fix it and very soon. We will get a system in place that we can understand that and we’re going to look at some previous years books and try to make sure that if there was something else going on, we’re going to know and we’re going to get this behind us.”

Day also said the past several days have been tough for people in the county.

“I’ve had one person you say, ‘You know this is just a big black mark on the county and it is,‘” Day said.

On Thursday, the attorneys for Holliday - McDaniel Wolff and Benca PLLC - reiterated a statement made earlier this week on behalf of Holliday, noting their client is “committed to cooperating with this ongoing investigation.”

Craighead County justices will meet at 5:30 p.m. July 6 in Jonesboro to declare a vacancy in the County Clerk’s office. The meeting will be held at the Craighead County Training Room at 511 Union.

Holliday will appear in circuit court July 27 in Jonesboro.

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