BRIDGETON, Mo. – A politician FOX 2 first busted for living in a different state from where he drew a councilman’s salary admitted guilt Thursday.
“What do you say to citizens who thought you were representing them?” FOX 2 asked as Andrew Purcell walked out of court with his attorney, Thomas Kissell. Kissell said they had no comment.
Purcell struck a plea deal that saves him six months in jail if he abides by the terms of his one-year probation for misdemeanor stealing without consent.
He has been the focus of multiple Fox Files investigations, beginning in April 2022, when we told you he had quietly moved for a job in Illinois while making excuses for why he wasn’t showing up for his then-job as a Bridgeton city councilman.
In May 2022, we confronted him, asking, “What’s your response to living in Illinois and getting paid as a Bridgeton councilman?” Purcell would only respond, “I have no comment at this time.”
Purcell never answered FOX 2 or Bridgeton citizens in person. However, he did apologize with a post on Facebook, which Bridgeton Mayor Terry Briggs questioned.
“The issue that I guess that I have with it is—wait a minute—you know, (apologizing on social media) is a lot different than maybe coming to a public meeting and saying it out loud to the people that, ‘Hey, I screwed up and I’m sorry for what I did,’” Briggs said.
Purcell came clean to a judge Thursday. The plea deal with the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office included Purcell handing over a $6,000 certified check for what he took from Bridgeton citizens. He also cannot run for office during his one-year probation.
“The individual prosecutor, in particular, she did a great job in pursuing it, not letting it fall apart,” Briggs said.
There’s another possible consequence, as Thursday’s legal filing against Purcell will go to the Illinois and Missouri Bar Associations. Purcell, who is licensed as an attorney in both states, could face additional discipline.