JONESBORO — A judge has approved a modified settlement between Craighead County and former County Clerk Kade Holliday, giving the county most everything he owns.
The county filed a civil lawsuit on June 29 after Holliday, 31, of Jonesboro, was arrested on charges he stole nearly $1.6 million in public funds while serving as an elected official.
Lawyers for Holliday and the county proposed a consent judgment on Aug. 25, in which Holliday doesn’t contest the county’s claims against him and authorizes transfer of his assets to the county.
Jetton General Contracting of Paragould, however, objected to the proposed settlement, claiming its interest in part of Holliday’s assets should be preserved.
Jetton is suing Holliday and Total Healthcare LLC, a company he co-owned with Rose Hankins, for nearly $435,000 for its work on a Nashville facility for Twisted Foods.
Jetton said a receiver should have been appointed, as the county had initially requested in its lawsuit, to supervise liquidation of Holliday’s assets.
But in a decision handed down Wednesday evening, Circuit Judge Richard Lusby said requiring the county and Holliday to continue to litigate a case in which they’ve already reached an agreement would simply add more expenses, including attorneys’ fees. He said a delay would also “unnecessarily risk loss of value of assets and resources for payments.”
Lusby said Jetton’s attorneys were unable to find a legal reason to justify blocking the settlement. He noted Jetton’s interests remain protected by the revised phrasing in one paragraph of what is now called the partial consent judgment:
“That the Defendant is hereby authorized to transfer and assign his interests in any and all real, personal, or intangible property for the purpose of satisfying this and all other Judgments.”
The judgment awards the county $1,415,304.79 for actual compensatory damages, plus $36,082.99 in interest. The county’s attorneys were also awarded $21,025.75 in fees.
Holliday is scheduled to appear Oct. 29 for a hearing in his criminal case, with a trial scheduled for the week of Nov. 9.
Holliday is accused of transferring public funds from county bank accounts to personal accounts during the first half of this year.
Nearly $1.6 million had been stolen since January from county employees’ federal and state payroll tax withholding funds as well as those to the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System, according to court documents.