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GettyVillage Voice newspaper stand in the East Village neighborhood in Manhattan, August 22, 2017. The Village Voice, one of the oldest and most well-known of the alternative weekly newspapers, announced today that it will no longer publish a print edition. The publication will maintain a continued online and digital presence. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Voice reporter Wayen Barrett wrote, “Gleason has magically emerged from the shadows as a serious contender though his career so far has been, to put it kindly, shadowy.” Barrett, an infamous New York muckraker and authority on Donald Trump—as evidenced by his years of reporting on the then-developer and his published tome about Trump and as was noted in the January 2017 New York Times story that announces his death at age 71; “Barrett’s voluminous background files from the Trump biography, and his professional courtesy, made his Brooklyn home a mecca for investigative reporters during the recent presidential campaign.”

“Gleason’s big claim to fame is that he was a firefighter at Ladder Company 11 in the district for 10 years, during which he says he visited 90 percent of the buildings in the district, ‘checking out conditions or responding to calls,’”Barrett wrote in 2009. “He’s boasted that this service enabled him to ‘know the district well,’ establishing his connections to a neighborhood he only moved into two years before he first ran to represent it.”

“But a Voice review of his FDNY records reveals that he was an active firefighter in the district for only a bit more than three years and that his department record is riddled with long stretches of time when he was either on leave or light duty, far away from the Lower East Side firehouse that he cites as the nexus of his relationship to the community,” Barrett reported.

“By the time Gleason retired on a full disability pension in November 1996 (while in his second year at Queens Law School), he had already taken nearly 49 months of paid medical leave or light-duty assignments, cutting short his FDNY career by over four years.”

“By his own count, he made almost a million-dollar profit on the sale of two East 80th Street apartments in 2007, minus taxes, which he complained about bitterly in a Voice interview,” he wrote. “Between the settlement and the disability pension, the accident, as painful as it might have been, was the biggest payday of his life.”

“Other than a series of sometimes bizarre cases brought either by him or a small law firm he is associated with to this day — once attempting to overturn his own failing grade in a law school class, and another time when he tripped over a hose in a Home Depot store — he has a scant legal history,” he wrote.

In 2012, Gleason filed a lawsuit against City of New York, FDNY, former Battalion Chief George Belnavis, Lieutenant Edward Boles, Fire Marshal Brian Grogan , Captain Patrick Reynolds, former Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta and the Uniformed Fire Officers Association.

In his lawsuit, Gleason alleged “the defendants tried to discredit his campaign for City Council in 2009 by releasing his confidential medical records to the press to show that he spent most of his ten year tenure with the department on medical leave.”

A 2012 report detailed the case: “These medical records are confidential and protected from unlawful government search and seizure and public dissemination by federal statute and by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” Gleason claims he drew the ire of the FDNY by suing them on behalf of his colleague and client William Kregler, the report read.

“Kregler claimed that the FDNY violated his First Amendment rights by retaliating against him by terminating his application for appointment to the position of City Marshal because of his public support of Robert Morgenthau who was then a candidate for District Attorney,” the complaint read, according to the report.

Gleason offered up his then $2.5 million apartment as bail collateral for then-alleged madam, Anna Gristina in 2012. While he would later leave the case as her pro bono lawyer, at the time, Gleason, as reported by The Guardian, initially was her attorney.

The case received a lot of attention at the time as Gristina was alleged to have been the “mastermind of a high-end Manhattan prostitution ring,” it was reported. Gleason was reported to have offered up his apartment for her to be her “saviour” since while she was held at Rikers Island her “life was in danger after a story got round that she employed underage girls,” Gleason said.

Known at the time as the “Soccer Mom Madam,” Gristina pleaded guilty to running an Upper East Side brothel but what she’s most likely know for today is the story about how Charlie Sheen, who was infected with HIV, Page Six reported, had sex with a number of Gristina’s prostitutes in 2009 and 2010 without condoms and would pay extra for it. Sheen said he discovered he was HIV-positive in 2011.

“The porn girls he liked would agree to go bareback [without protection] because he gave them an extra $5,000, $10,000. And some of them would agree because they were hoping they would get pregnant,” Page Six reported Gristina said. “He would give girls incentives not to use protection, and the girls would try to please him because they wanted to come back.”