Ward 7 Councillor Druh Farrell faces lawsuit from would-be developer
Suit alleges demand for political contribution in exchange for support on project
A lawsuit has been filed against Ward 7 Coun. Druh Farrell alleging she failed to recuse herself from a vote on a proposed development near her home, but she is dismissing the claim as an intimidation tactic.
The plaintiff is listed as Terrigno Investments Inc., a company owned by Rocco Terrigno.
The suit is demanding that the plaintiff get a new land use hearing without any input by Farrell, that she be removed from office for acting against the Municipal Government Act, and that damages of $211,535 be paid.
In 2013, Terrigno was attempting to alter the land use zoning on a property in Hillhurst Sunnyside to increase the density and height allowed.
The suit alleges that the developer was coerced by Farrell into using an unnamed architect. It also suggests that Farrell lived within meters of the property in question, which could have meant she had a pecuniary interest in the matter and should have recused herself from the vote.
The suit also alleges that Farrell arranged a meeting between an agent for her, and the plaintiff, where the agent asked for a $5,000 campaign donation, and received a donation of $2,500 in exchange for her support.
The land use application was eventually voted down in council 8-6, with Coun. Farrell among those voting against it.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
In a written statement, Farrell called the lawsuit extremely disappointing and suggested it’s 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, Ward 7 communities, and all Calgarians,” she said.
She said she won’t be commenting further, because the matter is before the courts.
A city spokesperson confirmed that the city’s law department is examining the suit.
All Councillors who face lawsuits due to actions undertaken while they are at work are entitled to have their legal bills paid by a special city defense fund.