City leaders said FBI questioned them about former Mayor Steve Dennis' nonprofit

GRANDVIEW, Mo. - There are still plenty of questions about why the mayor of Grandview issued a sudden resignation on Friday.

But two city leaders confirmed to 41 Action News the FBI questioned them about former Mayor Steve Dennis' involvement with a now defunct nonprofit.

According to documents filed online, two of Dennis' former colleagues on the Grandview Board of Aldermen, Board President Brent Steeno and Alderman John Maloney, submitted complaints against him for falsely listing them as being on the board of directors for the organization "Matters of the Heart Inc."

On April 1, 2013, Steeno and Maloney sent letters to the Missouri Secretary of State, asking for their names to be removed.

Just a year earlier, Dennis filed paperwork to create the nonprofit. A description said the purpose of the ministry was to be a local community outreach to the poor and disadvantaged.

"(He) never asked for my permission, agreement, or compliance to serve on the Board of Directors at any time," both letters said. "I have not received any correspondences, written or verbal, about the operations, management, or direction of ‘Matters of the Heart, Inc.'"

Steeno, who will serve as interim mayor until Dennis' old position is filled, told 41 Action News on Monday that he started getting questions about the nonprofit from people prior to the last April's general election. Steeno said he didn't know anything about it, but was then informed he was listed on the board of directors.

"I was pretty annoyed when I saw that," he said. "You have a lot of thoughts that go through your mind. You wonder if someone is trying to do anything shady. To this day, I still have no idea."

Maloney was also taken aback when he saw his name listed on the documents.

"I was shocked and angered," Maloney told 41 Action News.

Both city leaders said they asked the mayor about it, who told them it was an accident and the wrong paperwork had mistakenly been sent to the State.

But Steeno said the FBI questioned him about "Matters of the Heart, Inc." about six months ago. Maloney also confirmed the FBI paid him a visit.

Despite that development, the mayor's sudden resignation still came as a surprise to colleagues at City Hall, who also fielded questions from constituents about the sudden resignation.

"He did a great job for our city," Steeno said. "He was energetic. Citizens loved him. Staff loved him. We all had a great working relationship on the Board. It comes as a bit of a shock."

Dennis' nonprofit was administratively dissolved by the State of Missouri. According to public documents, the State of Missouri dissolved the nonprofit on December 19, 2012 for "failure to file a correct and current annual report."

A spokeswoman with the FBI would neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.

41 Action News tried to reach Dennis for comment with phone calls and a stop by his home, but is still awaiting a response.

Steeno and Maloney wanted to assure residents the situation with the former mayor is personal, and doesn't involve anything with the city.

Ryan Kath can be reached at ryan.kath@kshb.com. You can follow him on Twitter or connect on Facebook.

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