A lawsuit against Druh Farrell is now demanding the Ward 7 councillor pay her own legal bills and be prohibited from running in the looming municipal election “until her debt to the City of Calgary is fully repaid.”
In response to a recently filed “reply to defence” from the former owners of an Italian restaurant who are suing the councillor — and several others — Farrell once again emphasized she believes the lawsuit is designed to harm her reputation.
She called it “politically motivated and an abuse of the court,” as evidenced by the fact the latest information was sent to media outlets before it reached Farrell.
“It is a flagrant attempt to influence the election and to prevent me from representing my constituents. The use of the court to silence democratic representation is deeply troubling,” Farrell said in a statement released Thursday.
A statement of claim filed in May by a numbered company, linked to the Terrigno family that owned the Osteria de Medici restaurant in Kensington, accuses the inner-city councillor of “systematically” flouting her public duties, defamation and interference with a land-use application in Kensington.
It seeks Farrell’s removal from office and $211,535 in damages.
None of the allegations have been proven in court and in a five-page statement of defence filed June 9, Farrell denied any wrongdoing and said the action was brought “at a time designed to have a negative impact on the Defendant’s reputation shortly prior to a municipal election.”
The Terrignos are also suing an architect involved with the land-use application, and, in a separate lawsuit, the Hillhurst-Sunnyside Community Association and several individuals associated with the organization.
“This party has filed three different lawsuits for the same allegations. I strongly deny all allegations set out in this vexatious law suit and I will not be intimidated,” Farrell said in a statement Thursday. I was doing my job, the community association was doing its job, and I more determined than ever to fight for the constituents of Ward 7.”
“I was doing my job, the community association was doing its job, and I more determined than ever to fight for the constituents of Ward 7.”
The recent four-page document responding to Farrell’s statement of defence claims the longtime city councillor isn’t entitled to have her legal bills covered by the city under the city’s indemnification policy and that she should be prohibited from running in the 2017 municipal election until she’s paid the city back for legal bills.
The city’s indemnification policy shields council members from paying for legal action that’s within the scope of their duties.
In the latest legal document, the plaintiff claims that it’s an abuse of the indemnification policy “and an unlawful use of tax revenue to allow her [Farrell] the benefit of the Policy given these very serious allegations that involve unlawful activities beyond her good faith role as a Member of Council.”