News / Calgary

Evidence of alleged 'mafia' conversation entered in lawsuit against Coun. Druh Farrell

Sworn interviews with architect Jeremy Sturgess outline a phone call where he alleges she called a member of the Terrigno family "mafia"

Coun. Druh Farrell, Kensington Legion 2016.

Helen Pike / Metro

Coun. Druh Farrell, Kensington Legion 2016.

Another action has been filed against Coun. Druh Farrell as the civic election nears.

The legal document contains similar claims to a lawsuit filed against the Ward 7 councillor but includes audio transcriptions where interviewee's address claims she was calling a Calgary family "mafia" or "gangsters."

The original action against Farrell asked for $200,000 in damages for her "targeted malice" in scuttling the Terrigno family's Kensington development application as they claim she didn't disclose a pecuniary interest in the item. The suit alleged the councillor was using her office to shut down their annual Stampede party.

None of the allegations in the original lawsuit have been proved in court.

The second statement in that same suit asked she not be covered by council's indemnification policy, and that she be barred from running for the 2017 election if she can't pay the bills already incurred.

In the newest lawsuit, Rocco Terrigno's affidavit includes a court-sworn interview with architect Jeremy Sturgess about a telephone call early in the land use and development process where he alleges Farrell suggested the family had ties to organized crime.

"I don't think she would have said a member of the mafia," Sturgess is recorded in the affidavit.

"I think it was more like Jeremy, be careful, he's mafia. Something like that. I don't know – it shook me because I didn't know whether to take it as a euphemism or whether she had knowledge to that effect."

None of the statements or allegations in the second suit have been proven in court.

Coun. Farrell's public statement issued late Friday afternoon didn't address the evidence directly.

"Anyone with $250 can file a claim against a public figure running for an election, in an attempt to influence voters," read her statement.

"This is essentially the same suit, commenced by the same parties, over the same alleged issue. If the claim had any merit, one would have thought that the applicants would diligently prosecute their first action."

Farrell again suggested the family was abusing the court system to sway public opinion before an election.

Brent Rathgeber is representing the Terrignos in the second lawsuit. Rathgeber is a lawyer in St. Albert who has experience with another pecuniary interest suit, and was previously a PC MLA and a member of Parliament.

In a statement made on behalf of the Terrigno family, they outline why the second action was filed and subsequently released to the public.

"The action alleges that Councillor Farrell was dishonest with Calgarians by flatly denying the allegations in this matter and citizens deserve the right to judge her based on facts that are backed up by evidence," read the statement.

"Taxpayers should not be on the hook for Councillor Farrell’s legal bills."

More on