Former Craighead County Clerk Kade Holliday is spending summer out on bond, shackled with an ankle monitor and facing charges that he stole $1.6 million in taxpayer money.
The story of this 32-year-old Republican rising star is only the latest in an ever-spinning carousel of corruption that Arkansas can’t seem to jump off of.
Jonesboro law enforcement arrested the former clerk in June. Auditors say Holliday stole large chunks of money from county coffers, then gifted the money to his own accounts. He goes to court November 9 on a dozen counts of theft of property and one count of abuse of office.
Among the accounts Holliday allegedly skimmed is a retirement fund for county employees. “It is unclear how or if the county will recover this money.” according to the NEA Report.
But the damage doesn’t end there. Holliday co-owned two businesses that crashed and burned after his arrest. Twisted Foods, which employed 50 people, and The Edge Coffeehouse and Eatery are both defunct.
Meanwhile, Holliday was hitting the nonprofit sector, too. The Northeast Arkansas Leadership Business Council reports they’re $20,000 short. Former Council Treasurer Holliday tops the suspect list. Not great results from an Arkansas Business 20 in their 20s honoree.
Did voters have any clues Holliday might break bad? It’s hard to say. In hindsight, Holliday’s social media accounts suggest he had designs on a more glamorous life. A post about island-hopping on a private yacht made days before he stole a pile of public funds doesn’t paint a picture of someone with the best interests of everyday Arkansans at top of mind.