Ongoing Lawsuit Sparks Controversy

October 3, 2011 Updated Oct 3, 2011 at 8:43 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

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October 3, 2011 Updated Oct 3, 2011 at 8:43 PM EDT


Buffalo, NY (WKBW)- An Erie County Board of Elections Commissioner had some strong words for the Erie County Executive and Erie County Attorney Monday. Board of Elections Democratic Commissioner Dennis Ward claims Chris Collins misused country resources just weeks away from the November General Elections. Ward claims Collins ordered the Erie County Attorney to aide 8 county legislature candidates in an ongoing lawsuit. The complaint alleges county attorney Jeremy Colby has been working to keep those 8 candidates on the Independent Party line for the November Election.

"The county executive should take another civic lesson because the county attorney does not represent candidates," said Ward. "The attorney has no business representing the candidates for county legislature."

Colby says the claims are simply absurd.

"(Mr. Ward) is just wrong," said Colby. "I'm not representing anyone other than the Erie County Board of Elections. As the county attorney, I would never seek to represent private individuals."

County Executive Chris Collins says the claims are simply petty politics and there was no involvement in anything illegal. The ongoing case is now being examined by a federal judge to help decide if this matter should stay in the state court system, or move to the federal level. Ward says the Erie County Board of Elections will meet tomorrow to discuss the matter.