In the letter, Dennis referred to the paperwork errors as a simple mistake. He explained that he put Steeno and Maloney on the document as "placeholders" to make sure all the information fit on the page. He added the information was supposed to be switched to the correct names before it was sent to the state.
"It wasn't supposed to mean anything. It could have been ‘Mohammad (sic) Ali' and ‘Joe Frazier' that I typed in. I was just ‘formatting' the page," Dennis wrote. "There is truly nothing more to it than that…a failure to ‘cut and paste.'"
Dennis said there was nothing malicious in the intent and said he had offered an apology and explanation to the aldermen.
He also explained that the organization's treasurer had failed to submit an annual report, resulting in the administrative dissolving of the nonprofit a year after its creation.
Dennis said his treasurer had been in the hospital from heart surgery, though he never mentioned the name of the person who worked in that role. He said the proper paperwork would be resubmitted to get the organization in good standing with the state, but that never occurred.
The former mayor concluded his letter by assuring residents the nonprofit was not a political organization and that no public money had ever been used.
"Now, I've heard a couple of different stories that have been told in the community that automatically assume that I am either falsely stating my ‘importance' in a do-good organization or that I must be pilfering money illegally through the non-profit for my own benefit," Dennis wrote. "Nothing could be further from the truth."
It remains unclear what exactly "Matters of the Heart, Inc." did in the community. Dennis described it as an organization that helped poor and disadvantaged residents.
However, 41 Action News has yet to speak to a resident or city official who has witnessed a charity event. Mary Wilson, editor of the
Jackson County Advocate, told 41 Action News she has not covered anything related to the nonprofit since her family took over the newspaper in September 2012.