Friday, February 29, 2008

Glasgow case

Posted By on Fri, Feb 29, 2008 at 4:53 PM

Arkansas Business goes on-line with a long summary piece on the case of John Glasgow, the missing chief financial officer of CDI Contractors. It develops in greater detail what we've reported before, primarily that Glasgow felt pressure from CDI partner Dillard's in the transition of CDI following the death of founder Bill Clark. Dillard's provided some limited answers to written questions. The statement confirms previous reports that no evidence of financial wrongdoing had been found on the part of Glasgow or anyone at CDI, but the statement didn't respond directly to the suggestion that Glasgow felt Dillard's CEO William Dillard and CFO James Freeman had challenged his honesty.

Glasgow had told his family, according to accounts we've received, that he was particularly shaken by one phone call with Freeman shortly before he disappeared in which Freeman reportedly mentioned the Enron scandal and the ill that had befallen the CFO at that company. Our sources said, however, that Freeman disavowed that statement in a subsequent meeting that, nonethless, was tense from Glasgow's point of view. Freeman also challenged Glasgow over bonuses paid to CDI officials for 2007 -- about $300,000 for Glasgow. Freeman said the late Bill Clark never would have authorized such bonuses. (Never mind the bonus record at Dillard's Department Stores.) Glasgow silenced Freeman by producing a memorandum Clark had written before his death estimating profits for the year and outlining bonus projections if the profit goals were met. According to our account, the projections were on target.

The article details a letter that Glasgow wrote for Bill Clark's son William Clark, now the leader of CDI, as a suggested message to Dillard's CEO William Dillard. It's unknown if Clark adopted the language suggested in that letter, which emphasized long years of profitable association and hurt on the part of CDI oficials that they'd be suspected of dishonesty. My sources say Clark delivered a letter to William Dillard the Saturday before Glasgow disappeared on a Monday, Jan. 28. The letter was delivered to Dillard at his home just hours after Dillard returned from a trip to China. Its contents aren't known. Clark reportedly told Glasgow on the Sunday before his disappearance that he didn't yet have a response to the letter.

We understand the Democrat-Gazette has sent one of its news feature writers to talk to the family, so it could be that the statewide newspaper's low-profile handling of the case may be due for a change.

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