JONESBORO — A local nonprofit group alleges that the former county clerk stole thousands of dollars from the organization’s bank account.
Kade Holliday, 31, of Jonesboro, resigned from his post following his June 29 arrest on the suspicion of stealing nearly $1.6 million in county funds and abusing his office. A civil lawsuit was also filed in relation to his alleged misconduct.
Days after Holliday’s arrest, representatives with the Northeast Arkansas Leadership and Business Council filed an incident report with the Craighead County Sheriff’s Office. The organization alleges that the former clerk stole $20,000 from its bank account.
Holliday was one of the early organizers and “de facto treasurer” for NEALBC, president Jeff Morris said. Established in November 2019, the goal of the Jonesboro-based organization is “to help build leaders across the community and to engage in community service projects,” he said.
“Whenever news broke of Mr. Holliday’s arrest, of course, the first thing that I did was contact the bank. … I was told that our funds were depleted and later we found out that all the money in that account had been transferred to Mr. Holliday’s own personal bank account,” Morris said.
According to the incident report, Morris and another NEALBC representative learned that the organization’s bank account only had $6 in it. Morris said Holliday was its only authorized signer so the information he received from First National Bank was limited.
Much of the money in the account was raised in a raffle for “Project: Stop It,” he said. The money was going to fund individual first aid kits, or IFAKs, for classrooms and school buses in the area.
Equipment inside the kits, like tourniquets, can be used to “stop the bleed” in traumatic emergencies like active shooter situations, he said. In a written statement submitted to the sheriff’s office, representatives stated that the raffle raised enough money to buy 160 IFAKs, which cost about $100 each.
“These funds, a majority of which was in the form of cash, (were) to be deposited by Holliday into the bank account held by First National Bank,” it read. “It is undetermined by the NEALBC exactly how much money should be in its account, however, estimates by its officers place the value at between $15,000 and $20,000.”
He said there’s “definitely a possibility” NEALBC will sue Holliday to recuperate the group’s funds.
“Their funds were stolen. As an organization, we’re going to have to rebuild public trust. … We’re going to hold our heads high and do the right thing,” Morris said. “I considered Kade a friend of mine, as well as many other people. It’s heartbreaking. I’m furious. I just don’t understand what goes through someone’s mind to make them do something like this.”
He said the group plans to fully cooperate with the criminal investigation “in hopes that he is held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
As of Tuesday evening, Holliday had not been arrested in relation to NEALBC’s allegation of theft.
The Arkansas State Police’s probe into Holliday’s suspected theft of county funds is ongoing.