BRIDGETON, Mo. — We’re learning more about a no-show alderman after Wednesday’s exclusive FOX Files investigation, including a new bombshell discovery. An absentee politician being paid to represent people in Bridgeton, Missouri, was also prosecuting alleged suspects in Illinois.
Andrew Purcell seemingly abandoned his Bridgeton City Council locker about six months ago, shortly after the October 2021 meeting.
That was the last time Bridgeton Mayor Terry Briggs remembers seeing Purcell.
“On a regular basis that you’d continue to not show up for meetings and don’t tell people? Something was amiss and that’s when come to find out, he wasn’t coming back from his other job down in Southern Illinois,” Briggs said.
FOX 2 has confirmed Andrew Purcell was working as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Williamson County, Illinois, from March 1, 2021, until February 17, 2022. The prosecutor’s office says it can’t say why he left because it’s a personnel issue, but then Purcell filed to run as a county commissioner there.
“To have somebody pop up out of nowhere was kind of shocking to us,” Jeff Diederich, chairman of the Williamson County Republican Party. “It didn’t take much to figure out that something was not completely transparent.”
Diederich filed a 150-page complaint against Purcell based on his findings of Purcell’s questionable residency.
“When we discovered that the voters of Bridgeton, Missouri, much like the voters here in Williamson County, Illinois, have concerns about eligibility – it puts a blemish on the communities as a whole and I think it tarnishes the public perception,” he said.
We found Purcell is listed as owning a Bridgeton condo unit, in which the taxes are paid up to date.
There was no answer when we knocked. He also hasn’t answered our more than six phone calls. A new councilperson, Becky Patel, was sworn in Wednesday to take Purcell’s place as a Ward 2 alderman.
Because Purcell just disappeared, no one filed to run for his spot, including Purcell. Voters had to choose their new councilperson via write-in ballot. Bridgeton’s city council voted to censure Purcell so that his actions would appear on his permanent record.
“We’re not accepting this,” said Briggs. “This was wrong for you to do this and anybody who comes in and asks us about it, like yourself, we’ll go ahead and tell everybody, ‘Hey, you cheated the public.'”
Purcell got one single vote during this past April 6th election. Bridgeton officials wondered if Purcell came back to vote for himself. We checked with the St. Louis County election office.
A representative told us it was a secret ballot. So we can’t find out who cast that vote, but open records do show it could not have been Andrew Purcell. That’s because the records show he didn’t vote in the latest St. Louis County election.
FOX 2 investigative reporter Chris Hayes is following up on this report at 10:00 pm. Purcell was caught on tape saying something that will chill taxpayers.