JONESBORO — A defense attorney wants the trial of a former county clerk moved out of Craighead County because it would be impossible for his client to have a fair trial.

Little Rock lawyer Patrick Benca, who represents Kade Holliday, filed the request Thursday in circuit court.

Holliday faces both federal and state charges involving accusations that he transferred $1,579,05.03 from county bank accounts to his personal or private business accounts between Jan. 23 and June 24, 2020. During those six months, Holliday failed to pay county payroll taxes or make contributions to employees’ retirement accounts.

Holliday’s circuit court trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 29. A trial in federal court is set to start in February 2022.

In seeking a change of venue, Benca noted the six counts of theft of property could result in nearly 40 years in prison should Holliday, 33, be convicted.

“The alleged victims in this matter is every tax paying citizen in in the County of Craighead,” Benca wrote. “Indeed, every potential juror in Craighead County will be a victim of the offenses outlined” in the charging documents.

Benca also filed a motion asking the court to “prohibit the prosecutor and witnesses from making reference to Defendant’s attorneys as ‘Little Rock lawyers,’ ‘big city lawyers,’ ‘high profile lawyers,’ or any similar terminology. References such as this are prejudicial to the defendant and should not be used to introduce or address defendant’s counsel, the motion states.

In the federal indictment, Holliday faces a potential 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if found guilty. He would also be under federal supervision until restitution is paid.

In a separate, unrelated case, Holliday is charged with another count of felony theft, accused of stealing $13,975 from the nonprofit Northeast Arkansas Leadership and Business Council.

Holliday filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in October 2020, claiming $3.8 million in debts and only $1.6 million in assets.

That case continues to be open. However, a bankruptcy court trustee has argued that Holliday should not be relieved of any of his debts.

In July, Joseph A. DiPietro, trial attorney for the Office of the United States Trustee, indicated Holliday has hidden assets that haven’t been disclosed.

“The defendant has concealed, destroyed, mutilated, falsified, or failed to keep or preserve any recorded information, including books, documents, records, and papers, from which the Defendant’s financial condition or business transactions might be ascertained,” DiPietro wrote in the complaint.

Holliday was in the middle of his second four-year term as county clerk when he was removed from office following his arrest.