State Rep. John Rogers indicted on obstruction of justice charges

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John Rogers Photo Credit: Facebook

We are still just in the first year of this four-year term, but three of the 105 Alabama House of Representatives members have already been indicted. The latest is State Representative John Rogers (D-Birmingham). The U.S. Attorney’s office in Birmingham announced that Rogers has been indicted on two federal charges of obstruction of justice.

Rep. David Cole (R-Madison) pleaded guilty and resigned to voting in the wrong precinct when it was discovered that he ran in 2022 for a seat in a district different from the one where he lives.

Rep. Fred Plump (D-Fairfield) has already been indicted, pleaded guilty, and resigned his House District 55 seat in this same federal corruption case.

Plump admits to receiving $400,000 from Rogers in Jefferson County Community Service funds ostensibly to benefit a rec league Coach Plump ran. Instead of using all the money for the children, Plump admits to giving $200,00 to Varrie Johnson Kindall, Rogers’ longtime legislative assistant, who lives in Chelsea. Plump was indicted for both corruption and for obstruction of justice for notifying Kindall of the federal investigation after authorities told him not to.

Kindall has been indicted 21 times by federal authorities for her role in this scheme and the effort to cover it up.

The federal government alleges that Rogers and Kindall attempted to obstruct justice by offering an unidentified witness additional grant money as a bribe and otherwise trying to corruptly persuade the witness to give false information to federal agents.”

Rogers could face as much as 25 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

Rogers has denied any wrongdoing.

None of Wednesday’s news was unexpected.

The Jefferson County Republican Party is already actively recruiting candidates to run for Rogers’ seat, assuming that it will become vacant when he agrees to a guilty plea or is found guilty by a jury of his peers.

Jefferson County Republican Party Chairman Chris Brown said on Tuesday night that he and Alabama Republican Minority GOP Chairman Phillip Brown are actively looking for a candidate in neighboring House District 52, where Rogers is “tied up in the same corruption scandal as Plump.”

If Rogers surrenders his seat or is removed upon conviction, Governor Kay Ivey will call a special election to fill the vacancy. The special Democratic primary for Plump’s HD55 seat was held just Tuesday.

“We don’t know that there is going to be an opening (in HD52), but we want to be ready if there is,” Chris Brown said.

Rogers has, to this point, denied any wrongdoing. He is 83 years old and served in the Alabama House of Representatives for the last 42 years.

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