Yielding to criticism from police, organizers of a parade celebrating the opening of the Cincinnati Reds baseball season have withdrawn their invitation to the city's famous parking meter-feeding grandmother to be an honorary parade marshal.
Parade coordinator Jeff Gibbs said Saturday that Sylvia Stayton, 63, would not take part in Tuesday's parade.Stayton gained widespread notoriety last year when she was arrested for putting coins in the expired meters of two cars as they were being ticketed by a Cincinnati policeman.
She was convicted by a Hamilton County Municipal Court jury of obstructing official business and fined $500 and court costs.
Stayton, who has four children and 10 grandchildren, argued she did nothing wrong and refused to apologize in court for the incident. She said she would appeal the sentence.
Gibbs said sponsors of the 78th annual Opening Day Parade never thought they would stir up a controversy by naming Stayton an honorary marshal.
"The last thing we wanted to do is to make everybody upset," he said.