Steve Dennis was the highly regarded mayor of Grandview just a month ago.
But today hes a disgraced elected official, providing a cautionary tale for politicians and the public, too.
On Tuesday, Dennis pleaded guilty to a count of federal wire fraud. Court records said he had accepted $35,000 in donations from the International House of Prayer to use for a small nonprofit he had founded. Instead, most of the money went for his personal benefit.
Dennis had suddenly resigned as mayor on Jan. 9, shocking many in the community who had followed his lead in supporting projects he said would improve the city of nearly 25,000. It was a dismaying fall because Dennis for many years had tirelessly promoted a brighter future for Grandview.
Fortunately, the conviction of Dennis actually is one of the few high-profile court cases involving local elected officials in recent years. It has been a welcome period of calm in that regard.
But it is always troubling when public officials become too enamored with power and with the delusion that they can do little wrong.
Fortunately, the justice system will often show them the error of their ways.