BRIDGETON, Mo. — We first told you how Andrew Purcell was getting paid to represent Missourians while living in Illinois. After trying to find him for weeks, FOX 2 recently caught up with him.
“Mr. Purcell, Chris Hayes here with FOX 2. I’ve been calling. I’ve knocked on your door. What’s your response to living in Illinois and getting paid as a Bridgeton councilman?”
Purcell walked away as he answered, “I have no comment at this time.”
That’s just the beginning of our questions for the now-former Bridgton councilman.
Bridgeton Mayor Terry Briggs told us last month how Purcell stopped showing up for meetings in November 2021. The mayor later learned Purcell had registered to vote at that time in Carterville, Illinois.
“Is that like stealing? You’re only supposed to be paid if you continue to serve,” Briggs said.
Briggs wondered about the $2,500 worth of salary Purcell collected as an absentee.
It turns out Purcell was simultaneously trying to run for office in Williamson County, Illinois, about 140 miles away. The Republican Party there learned he was getting paid as a Bridgeton councilman, so they brought him into a court hearing to find out where he was really living.
Here’s what Purcell said at the Electoral Board Hearing on March 25, 2022: “It is my contention, under oath, that I am a resident of Williamson County and have been since March 1st of 2021.”
During that year’s time, Purcell would have taken $6,000 worth of salary from Bridgeton.
Purcell did not answer more than ten phone calls, or a personal visit to a home listed in his name, but we learned he was still returning to Bridgeton for a bowling league – so we caught up with him there.
When asked if he was going to pay back the money, Purcell responded: “I have no comment at this time.”
FOX 2’s Chris Hayes then asked, “You were a prosecutor – does this rise to a felony?”
Purcell again repeated, “I have no comment at this time,” as he walked into the bowling alley.
Purcell is no longer a Bridgeton councilman, having lost the recent April election by 71 votes. We’ve also confirmed he is under criminal investigation for what we’ve exposed on FOX 2.