JONESBORO — The Craighead County Quorum Court declared the county clerk’s position open Monday after the previous clerk resigned following his arrest on charges of embezzling nearly $1.6 million in tax money.
The previous county clerk, Kade Holliday, is charged with 13 felonies, and police suspect he stole the $1.6 million between January and June, when County Judge Marvin Day and Sheriff Marty Boyd became aware of the thefts.
The justices of the peace first accepted his resignation Monday, and then officially decided to accept resumes for the county clerk office. Both votes were unanimously in favor of replacing Holliday.
The quorum court members will be responsible for deciding who eventually becomes clerk.
A woman in the audience of about a dozen people recommended Linda Denny for the position. Denny, also in the audience, said she would like to be considered.
Before retirement she got her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Arkansas State University. Denny said she was also a chief deputy in the collector’s office for two and a half years.
Although she’s retired, she said she thinks it’s important the county has a clerk willing to do the hard work and clean up the mess left behind by Holliday.
“I feel very strongly that I want to help fix this,” Denny said after the meeting.
Day said four additional people, including a few already working in the clerk’s office, have expressed interest in the position.
During the meeting, Day repeatedly opened the meeting up to public comment before the quorum court members voted.
Day said Holliday’s resignation should have no impact on the upcoming election, as Holliday’s office will not be up for re-election until 2022.
It is crucial to make the process as quick as possible as his office is in charge of handling a large portion of the general election in November.
On Monday, the justices worked to determine a timeline for when they’ll replace Holliday with a new official.
They decided the county will accept applications to the position until noon next Monday, and Human Resources Manager Lacey Rush will then be able to bring three to four qualified candidates to the quorum court’s public service committee.
“That’ll give two weeks for her to kind of go over it,” Justice of the Peace Josh Longmire said.
The committee will then make a recommendation to the quorum court, and the members will make a vote to choose the next clerk.
Longmire looked to the media to advertise the position and also asked that the job listing be posted on the county website.
The court will meet at its regularly scheduled time of 5:30 p.m. Monday to resume business as usual.