Bridgeton City Councilman Charged With Felony


Former Bridgeton City Councilman Andrew Purcell was charged in the county for stealing by deceit, a felony.

Purcell, 36, was appointed to the city council in April 2018 and was then re-elected to another two-year term in 2020.

According to a Bridgeton Police Department probable cause statement, Purcell did not live in Bridgeton for a significant portion of the time during which he was on the city council. He collected a $500 a month salary for serving in the position.

According to the Bridgeton city charter, in order to serve on the city council a person must be a “qualified voter” in Bridgeton.

However, in March 2021 Purcell signed a rental agreement for a property in Carterville, Illinois, and registered to vote in Carterville that November.

The probable cause statement says that Purcell never notified Bridgeton that he was moving.

“As a former councilman, I can attest to the fact that living in the district that one represents serves a real purpose. It ensures that elected leaders are visible and accessible to the residents they serve,” St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said in a statement. “Bridgeton Mayor Terry Briggs and I discussed how these alleged actions by the defendant not only distract from the very difficult and often thankless work that he and the rest of the Bridgeton City Council do every day, but is also a black eye on all those who choose public service as a way of giving back to their community.”

The Conviction and Incident Review Unit in the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, an independent unit that investigates and prosecutes official misconduct, is looking into this crime. The unit had its purpose broadened after being formed to investigate police misconduct.

Purcell’s time as a city councilman came to an end last month when he did not seek another term.

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