Mystery deepens in case of Missouri politician who doesn’t show up
BRIDGETON, Mo. — We’re learning more about an absent city councilman after Wednesday’s exclusive FOX Files investigation, including an explosive new discovery. An absentee politician paid to represent the people of Bridgeton, Missouriwas also pursuing alleged suspects in Illinois.
Andrew Purcell apparently gave up his Bridgeton City Council record about six months ago, shortly after the October 2021 meeting.
It was the last time Bridgeton Mayor Terry Briggs remembers seeing Purcell.
“On a regular basis, you kept not showing up to meetings and not telling people? Something was wrong and that’s when I found out he wasn’t coming back from his other job in southern Illinois,” Briggs said.
FOX 2 has confirmed that Andrew Purcell worked as an assistant state’s attorney in Williamson County, Illinois from March 1, 2021 to February 17, 2022. The DA’s office says it can’t say why he left because that it’s a staffing issue, but then Purcell applied for county commissioner there.
“Having someone pop up out of nowhere was a little shocking to us,” said Williamson County Republican Party Chairman Jeff Diederich. “It didn’t take long to figure out that something wasn’t completely transparent.”
Diederich filed a 150-page complaint against Purcell based on his findings about Purcell’s questionable residency.
“When we found out that voters in Bridgeton, Missouri, just like voters here in Williamson County, Illinois, have concerns about eligibility – it puts a stain on communities as a whole and I think that tarnishes public perception,” he said. .
We found that Purcell is listed as the owner of a Bridgeton condo unit, in which taxes are paid up to date.
There was no response when we knocked. He also did not answer our more than six phone calls. A new councillor, Becky Patel, was sworn in on Wednesday to take Purcell’s place as Ward 2 Alderman.
Because Purcell has just passed away, no one has come forward to run for his place, including Purcell. Voters had to choose their new councilor by written ballot. Bridgeton City Council voted to censure Purcell so that his actions appear on its permanent record.
“We don’t accept that,” Briggs said. “It was wrong for you to do this and anyone who comes and asks us about it, like you, we’re going to go on and say to everyone, ‘Hey, you fooled the public.'”
Purcell got just one vote in the April 6 election. Bridgeton officials questioned whether Purcell had returned to vote for himself. We checked with the St. Louis County Elections Office.
A representative told us that it was a secret ballot. So we can’t know who voted, but open records show it couldn’t have been Andrew Purcell. That’s because records show he didn’t vote in the last St. Louis County election.