Alabama state lawmaker Rogers to plead guilty to federal charges

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Alabama Rep. John Rogers speaks during a House session at the Statehouse.

Alabama Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, speaks during a House session at the Statehouse, April 17, 2012, in Montgomery, Ala. Rogers will plead guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice, federal prosecutors announced Monday, March 11, 2024.

Dave Martin, AP Photo

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — State Rep. John Rogers, a longtime member of the Alabama House of Representatives, will plead guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges, according to a plea agreement filed Monday.

The charges are related to what federal prosecutors described as a kickback scheme that diverted money from a state fund intended to pay for community projects in Jefferson County.

Rogers, a Democrat from Birmingham, will resign from office and pay $197, 950 in restitution as part of the plea deal. Federal prosecutors are recommending that the 83-year-old lawmaker be sentenced to 14 months of home confinement.

According to a plea deal filed in federal court in Birmingham, Rogers has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice. Former state Rep. Fred L. Plump, Jr. and Varrie Johnson Kindall, Rogers’ former assistant and girlfriend, previously pleaded guilty to related charges.

Federal prosecutors said that between 2018 and 2018 Rogers directed $400,000 to a youth sports organization run by Plump. Federal prosecutors said that Plump gave approximately $200,000 back to Rogers and Kindall.

Rogers, 83, has served in the Alabama Legislature since 1982. He is currently the longest serving member in the Alabama House of Representatives.

Defense lawyer John Robbins, who is representing Rogers, did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

Rogers is the third Alabama lawmaker to agree to plead guilty to a criminal charge during this four-year term.

In addition to Plump, who resigned last year, former state Rep. David Cole, a Republican from Huntsville, last year pleaded guilty to a voter fraud charge that he rented a closet-size space in a home to fraudulently run for office in a district where he did not live.

 

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