County Executive Taking Heat for His 'Parade Protocol'

July 6, 2011 Updated Jul 6, 2011 at 6:48 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

July 6, 2011 Updated Jul 6, 2011 at 6:48 PM EDT

Village of Lancaster, NY (WKBW) - Some Village of Lancaster officials are upset over Erie County Executive Chris Collins' actions in the village's 4th of July Parade. Event coordinators say veterans, emergency and fire crews always kick off the parade, but claim Collins decided to start the parade on his own and bypassed his assigned place in line.

"Our parade director tried to stop him," said Village of Lancaster Trustee Paul Maute. "Collins said he was going ahead. He didn't care. It's just totally out of character for someone to do that."

The county executive is running for re-election this year. Collins' spokesperson says organizers were well aware of the executive's plans and released this statement:

"Instead of marching in the parade at a distance from the spectators, the county executive likes to walk along the sides of the street, interacting with people and talking with them directly," said Collins' Spokesperson Grant Loomis. "Parade organizers were made aware of this plan and they approved. No offense was intended."