Oscar Fech sued for millions by Airdrie farmer following land sale

Local farmer Randy Vanmackelberg is suing retired construction contractor Oscar Fech for more than $7 million, arguing Fech failed to pay him an agreed percentage of a major land sale.

Lawsuit document alleges Fech agreed to pay farmer 10% of major land sale

Oscar Fech is being sued by a local farmer for nearly $7.5 million (NTDTV/YouTube screengrab)

UPDATE added Dec. 8, 2017: The Court of Queen's Bench dismissed the lawsuit in November 2017.

A multi-millionaire thorn in the side of Calgary city council — Oscar Fech — now has an irritant of his own.

Local farmer Randy Vanmackelberg is suing the retired construction contractor for more than $7 million, arguing Fech failed to pay him a percentage of a major land sale the two had agreed on.

Fech, a regular critic at city council meetings, sold 129 hectares of land in the northeast to developer Genstar Titleco in November 2012 for $75.5 million.

The city wanted some of that land for road improvements including an interchange, an LRT park-and-ride and to widen part of Metis Trail.

Fech and Vanmackelberg made arrangements in May 2012 for the farmer to lease the land. They agreed Vanmackelberg would harvest and sell barley on the land, spray and sow the fields, and fix fences on the property, according to the statement of claim filed in the case. 

The document also alleges Fech had the farmer act as agent to procure an offer from international developer Genstar, which had expressed interest in buying the land. Vanmackelberg would get 10 per cent of any land sale in exchange for his efforts, according to the statement.

The lawsuit argues Vanmackelberg has only been paid $500 so far and is owed $7,499,500 and that Fech has acknowledged on several occasions that he is in debt to the man who leased the land.

"My client is a hard-working farmer from the Airdrie area.  He looks forward to an amicable resolution of this matter," said Vanmackelberg's lawyer, Jonathan Denis.

The allegations have not yet been proven in court. CBC News has been unable to reach Fech for a comment.