Calgary city councillor Druh Farrell sued by Kensington business owners
Calgary city Councillor Druh Farrell is being sued by the owners of a property in Kensington who claim she defamed them, interfered with a land-use application, and disregarded her public duties.
They’re seeking damages in excess of $200,000 in addition to having Farrell removed from public office.
In a statement of claim filed May 15 by a numbered company related to Rocco Terrigno and Terrigno Investments Inc., the plaintiffs allege Farrell had a bias against them and that she “repeatedly and improperly exercised her authority by compelling bylaw officers to attend routinely” an annual event they held during the Calgary Stampede adjacent to a restaurant they operated at Kensington Road and 10 Street N.W.
They claim the location of the party was near her place of residence at the time.
The plaintiffs go on to claim Farrell sought to have the city’s special event bylaw changed “as a targeted means to deny subsequent approvals” of their annual Stampede event.
The Terrignos also accuse Farrell of being responsible for a failed land-use application voted on by city council in 2015. They write in the statement of claim that as an alternative to her being removed from office, they’d be willing to accept a declaration of her alleged conflict of interest and a new public hearing — without her involvement — on the matter.
The plaintiffs also said Farrell had defamed them, alleging she called them “criminals.”
Among the other accusations in the suit, the Terrignos said they were told they could not publicly support Farrell’s opponent in the 2013 municipal election, and that they felt “coerced” to donate $2,500 to her campaign.
“Although not otherwise willing to comply with her demands as it was publicly known that the principals of the Plaintiff strongly supported the conservative and political views of her opponent, they were compelled to comply,” reads the statement of claim. “They adhered to her demands as they understood that to act contrary would be detrimental to their economic interests.”
In a statement sent to News Talk 770, Farrell said it was “extremely disappointing” to receive a statement of claim she feels is designed to prevent her from doing her job.
“I will not be intimidated by this lawsuit and fully intend to continue to advocate for the best interests of my constituents,” wrote Farrell. “I have forwarded the Statement of Claim to the City Law Department for further handling. As this matter is before the courts, I have no further comment at this time.”
None of the allegations have been proven in court and a statement of defense has yet to be filed.
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