ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A Missouri politician accused of stealing from taxpayers had his first court appearance this week. FOX2 went directly to the source to find out if he has repaid your money as he promised.
Andrew Purcell apologized on Facebook in April. He also promised he would repay taxpayers for the time he represented citizens in Missouri while living in Illinois. We caught up with him to find out if he’s followed through.
The former Bridgeton City Councilman walked into the St. Louis County Justice Center this week for his first court appearance. He’s charged with felony stealing by deceit. He’s also a licensed attorney. In court, he represented himself, asking the judge for a delay.
FOX2 learned he’d already told citizens on social media that he owes them. That was 36 days ago. We asked him in person, “Have you followed through?” Purcell answered, “No comment at this time.”
He’s had few words for FOX2, during our ongoing coverage that began April 21. But he had lots to say to an Election Commission in Illinois when he tried to prove to them that he was living there so he could run for office in that state.
We obtained the audio recording in which Purcell said, “It is my contention, under oath, that I am a resident of Williamson County and have been since March 1st of 2021.”
The court record shows no evidence that he’s repaid anything as he promised. During the time Purcell admitted under oath to living 140 miles away in Williamson County, Illinois, he collected about $6,000 in Bridgeton, Missouri, councilman salary.
Bridgeton’s Mayor Terry Purcell told us at the time, “It leaves a bad taste in your mouth and people are already somewhat skeptical of government.”
Briggs showed us Purcell’s council locker in April, abandoned without any communication that Purcell was leaving. He says Purcell still hasn’t come to get his belongings. Bridgeton has acted however, initiating the criminal investigation that has led to the felony stealing by deceit charge Andrew Purcell now faces.
The judge agreed to delay court actions against him until a new hearing next month.