While county searches for interim clerk, auditor takes closer look at 2019 books

Auditor will "look closely" at 2019 transactions

Craighead County quorum court in search for interim county clerk

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A day after accepting the resignation of former County Clerk Kade Holliday, Craighead County leaders say auditors are taking a “closer look” at earlier transactions.

On Monday, the Craighead County Quorum Court accepted Kade Holliday’s letter of resignation and by law, voted that the county clerk position Holliday held is now vacant.

During the meeting, the court discussed the process of looking for an interim and decided the county will accept resumes up until noon, July 13.

The interim that is voted in will finish Holliday’s term which does not end until after the 2022 elections.

County Judge Marvin Day said the next person in the position has to be held accountable.

“The quorum court is going to make the ultimate decision. I know for me obviously someone that’s very trustworthy. Experience would be a good thing. After this craziness settles down with what’s going on, obviously we need someone who is going to be a good partner in getting the office in a good place where it needs to be,” Day said.

Day also addressed the troubles the county has had with the county clerk seat in the past, after issues with Holliday’s predecessor Nancy Nelms.

“We’re going to figure out the appropriate path so that issues just like you said with the previous two clerks on making tax payments does not happen again,” Day said. “There’s got to be a way to pair up someone accepting that check for payment and providing a receipt in a timely manner. We don’t have the answers for that yet, but we are getting them and we are going to find out.”

While the judge said he could be considered a mayor for the county, there are differences in his position compared to a city mayor.

He said the mayor is the top official in the city and that individual controls finance, purchasing, the road department and things of that matter.

However, while he serves as the county judge, positions like the sheriff and the county clerk are completely autonomous.

The only control he has as the county judge is approving expenditures.

Many internal controls are left up to those offices and the county treasurer office.

However, he said there needs to be a check and balance process, policy change, and financial accountability.

As far as who oversees the county’s money, Days said there’s not an easy answer to that question. There are multiple streams of income for the county, but he did break down the allegations against Holliday.

“He [Kade] submitted a bill or what we call a claim to the treasurer office. The treasurer turned around and handed him a check for those particular bills every two weeks. Kade’s job… he was supposed to take that money and pay the bill that he turn in the claim for, but he never did,” Day said.

Judge Day said Holliday set the bank account where the transactions happen to only be accessible by him.

He was the only one who saw the statements and the deficiency notices, adding that “he learned how to take advantage of the system.”

For more information about qualifications and where to take your resume for the position, contact the county courthouse by phone at 870-933-4500 or email hr@craigheadcounty.org. Applications can also be made online here.

The county’s legislative auditor spoke with Day on Tuesday, July 7, according to the county judge’s office. Currently, the auditor is examining the details of all transactions made during 2019.

“If there are compelling reasons to go back further than 2019 they will,” Day said in a statement.

If his office receives tips or suggestions to look at something specific or earlier than 2019, he said they will investigate it as well.

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