John Glasgow Letter Shows Strained Relationship Between Dillard's, CDI

by Gwen Moritz  on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008 5:06 pm  

Missing CDI Contractors executive John Glasgow, seen with his wife Melinda in a photo submitted by his family. Glasgow has been missing since Jan. 28.

(Copyright 2008 Arkansas Business Publishing Group)

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The relationship between the management of CDI Contractors LLC of Little Rock and half-owner Dillard's Inc. was under tremendous stress in the days before CDI's chief financial officer disappeared on Jan. 28.

On Friday, Jan. 18, Melinda Glasgow saw her husband, John, in tears for only the second time in 16 years, after a particularly difficult meeting with Dillard's executives; the first was when his mother died. "He told me, ‘Today has been the worst day of my life.'"

A week later, on Jan. 25, John Glasgow completed a draft of a letter to Dillard's CEO William Dillard II on behalf of William Clark, CEO of CDI since the death in May of his father, company founder Bill Clark. It referred to a meeting that had included Clark, Glasgow, William Dillard and Dillard's CFO James Freeman.

"For Freeman to come down here and say we are dishonest, and for you [Dillard] to sit there and not say anything, hurt us to the core. We have never been so offended in our lives," Glasgow wrote for Clark.

It continued: "Now I'm concerned that our foundation is on shaky ground. I want to keep this partnership together and continue building on my dad's legacy, and I believe that is what he would want me to do. Will you please let me do that? If we can move forward, then I have a plan for how to do it. First, you have to call off the dogs."

Whether Clark sent the letter or anything similar to Dillard's is not known. Dillard's and CDI, in a joint response issued Thursday (PDF) to questions submitted by Arkansas Business, said: "Neither Dillard's nor CDI believe any money was misappropriated by John Glasgow or any other member of CDI's management."

The response was the first statement from Dillard's or any of its management team regarding Glasgow since his disappearance.

Glasgow's draft letter, provided to Arkansas Business by Melinda Glasgow, reveals John Glasgow's mindset three days before he vanished.

"Freeman's accountants have been down here for the past two weeks looking through everything we have, and that's fine because we have nothing to hide and never have," he wrote.

And in an introductory note to Clark, he wrote, "I'm not that concerned about what Freeman thinks about me, but I am concerned about what Bill [Dillard] thinks of you and your team."



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