In June 2004, Gladney and a business partner purchased the Hadley-Dean Glass building downtown, with development plans for an eatery and million-dollar condos. The popular Mosaic restaurant succeeded in the building's ground level, but the rest of the Hadley-Dean has languished. Gladney and his partner dissolved their venture. The LLC that acquired the building, which Gladney controlled, has since declared bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, Gladney and his former Mosaic partner, Claus Schmitz, are embroiled in a court battle stemming from a sexual-harassment lawsuit. Last year, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Mosaic in U.S. District Court for damages owing to Gladney's alleged drug-fueled sexual advances toward two female bartenders. Schmitz settled the lawsuit in July 2008 and agreed to pay $64,000 to his former employees.

Drugs have played a recurring role in many of Gladney's troubles.

In 2001, Gladney was arrested on charges of first-degree assault and forcible sodomy after an alleged cocaine-driven sexcapade that began one spring afternoon at his then-office in Brentwood and ended in Room 1415 at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton. The case was later dropped by prosecutors due to witness credibility problems, according to court records.

Gladney in 2001 also received three years' probation and a suspended sentence for distribution of a controlled substance after passing a $50 bill laced with cocaine to a waitress at the since-shuttered T.G.I. Friday's in Brentwood, according to court documents and testimony. Other records show Gladney is a veteran of at least two tours through drug rehab.

Gladney's addiction to crack and cocaine loomed large during his sentencing for extortion, as did his taste for out-of-the-ordinary sexual scenarios.

In court filings and testimony, Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard Marcus argued that Gladney deserved more than three years in prison due to the alleged 2001 incident at the Ritz, and owing to the fact that, during a search of Gladney's townhouse, FBI agents found his sons' bedrooms "littered with pornography and sexual devices."

Marcus said the FBI seized crack pipes and other drug paraphernalia. The prosecutor also cited animated DVDs and cartoon images that appeared to contain child pornography.

Finally, Marcus pointed to an e-mail Gladney sent to one "Tracy Tapper," a Las Vegas phone-sex operator, stating: "It isn't illegal, to talk about, or even plan to do, anything, in the context of phone sex. Murder, torture, rape, pedofillia [sic]. It's all legal as can be to discuss. We are leaving [sic] phone fantasies, girl I am sure yo [sic] know that they are not prosecutable, in other words: we're free to talk about any twisted thing we want in this great country, as [sic] as we don't do it, even assassinate government officials."

Defense attorney Adam Fein argued that Marcus' claims were unrelated to the extortion charge and therefore irrelevant.

Drug abuse and deep psychological wounds revealed through recent counseling sessions were to blame for Gladney's behavior, Fein said.

Jean Caine, a Clayton therapist who saw Gladney for eleven sessions, testified that he turned to drugs because of the pain he began to suffer at the age of thirteen, when his father died. "His mother was very, very abusive, and, I believe, an alcoholic," Caine stated, adding that after Gladney's father passed, his mother "failed, frankly, in her job."

Gladney's mother is now deceased. Fein noted that Gladney took her into his home for the last two years of her life and cared for her.

Gladney acknowledged his drug abuse and credited the recent counseling for helping him find this "wounded place inside of me...that often caused me to feel betrayed, or treated unfairly."

He begged the judge for leniency, and cried at the mention of the hurt he has caused so many — especially his wife.

Read "7-Up vs. Coke" Part 1 and "7-Up vs. Coke" Part 2, published in February 2008 in the Riverfront Times.

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