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.


John Glasgow is the fifth son and youngest child of Thomas Cortlyn Glasgow and his Iowa-born wife, Fern Carol Rosik Glasgow, both deceased. He was born and educated in Nashville (Howard County), but grew up on a farm about five miles away in the community known as County Line.

Among Glasgow's classmates in the Nashville High School class of 1980 was Melinda Hayes, but they didn't date then and each would have a failed marriage before they rediscovered each other in Little Rock more than 10 years later. Their first date was to Roger Glasgow's 50th birthday party in January 1992, and they married that summer.

In the meantime, John had earned a business degree from the University of Central Arkansas at Conway in 1985 and began an accounting career with the firm now known as BKD LLP. (James Freeman, 57 at the time of Dillard's 2007 proxy statement, also worked there.) Glasgow earned an MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and was licensed as a certified public accountant (although his license has been inactive since 2000).

As an outside auditor, Glasgow was assigned to a new construction company formed in 1987 as a 50-50 partnership between Bill Clark and Dillard's Inc., primarily to build stores for the Little Rock retailer.

Clark hired John away from BKD in 1990. He would be named controller in 1992, the same year he married Melinda and began raising her 12-year-old son, Jeffrey Thomas Franklin.

In June 1995, John and Melinda bought their house on South Lookout Street, a little over a mile from CDI's offices at 3000 Cantrell Road, for $179,000 (and paid it off in 2003). Late in 1995, John would be named chief financial officer of CDI after he helped uncover a seven-figure embezzlement by the previous CFO, Kevin Wheeler.

(Wheeler, 32 at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty in 1996 to stealing more than $1.3 million from CDI, drew a 10-year sentence in state prison and was out after six months. Ten years later he drew a 36-month sentence in federal prison for embezzling almost $300,000 from MCDR Contractors & Construction Managers of Memphis. He was released from the federal prison camp at Montgomery, Ala., in March 2007.)

Ownership Change

CDI's annual revenue was $243 million in 1995, when Glasgow became CFO. It would reach a record of $580 million in 2007, despite the blow of its founder's death. Bill Clark's half-interest in CDI passed to his widow, Margaret, and his son, William Clark, was immediately elevated to CEO.

Glasgow was, by all accounts, very well compensated, but his brother said the $300,000 bonus he received in January was unusually large. The money, like his regular paychecks, was direct-deposited into a joint checking account he shared with Melinda, Roger Glasgow said.

A plan to disburse Clark's share of the company was in the works when John vanished; in fact, Arkansas Business published a "Whisper" about it in the issue dated Jan. 28, the day Glasgow went missing.



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