Alabama House Representative John Rogers agrees to plea deal, will step down from position

During a debate over an insurance bill in the Alabama House of Representatives on February 20, 2024, Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, asked a question. The event took place at the Alabama Statehouse in Montgomery, Alabama.

Alabama Congressman John Rogers, a Democrat from Birmingham, has recently come to a plea agreement after being accused of misappropriating public funds for a youth baseball league and directing them to an associate. This development was confirmed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office at the Northern District of Alabama on Monday.

Rogers, 83, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, as well as one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to the office. The plea deal has been filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

Rogers has agreed to step down from his position in the Alabama House of Representatives, where he has served since 1982, as part of the agreement. According to the plea agreement, Rogers will be placed under home confinement for a duration of 14 months and will also be required to pay more than $197,000 in restitution.

John Robbins, the attorney representing Rogers, stated on Monday that he is unable to provide any comments at this time due to the recent agreement reached.

Rogers’ former associate Varrie Johnson Kindall and former Rep. Fred L. Plump, D-Fairfield, have also pleaded guilty to their involvement in defrauding the Jefferson County Community Service Fund.

Rogers, who currently holds the record for being the longest-serving Representative in the Alabama House, received around $500,000 from the fund between fiscal years 2018 and 2022. According to prosecutors, Rogers is accused of directing a substantial portion of these funds to the Piper Davis Youth Baseball League, which is led by Plump. It is alleged that Plump then provided kickbacks amounting to approximately $200,000 to both Rogers and Kindall.

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In addition to the charges mentioned earlier, Rogers, Kindall, and Plump have been accused of deliberately providing incorrect information to the committee regarding the purpose for which the funds for Piper Davis were intended. Furthermore, Rogers and Kindall are alleged to have engaged in obstructive behavior by trying to influence a witness and providing false information to the investigators.

The charges carry severe consequences, with potential penalties of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Additionally, conspiracy to obstruct justice can result in up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Rogers has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, as well as one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Rogers may be sentenced to a maximum of 25 years in prison or fined up to $500,000, or both. Additionally, he could be subject to supervised release for up to three years.

As part of the agreement, he will be required to pay $197,950.45 in restitution to the Jefferson County Community Service Fund. In return, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has agreed to drop the remaining charges in the second superseding indictment, including obstruction of justice by bribery and failure to file a tax return.

In October, the state representative faced imprisonment due to allegations of making a phone call to a witness in the case. Rogers, who claimed that the call was an unintentional error, was eventually released after a judge imposed additional conditions on him.

In the past 10 months, three state representatives in Alabama have pleaded guilty to criminal charges and subsequently resigned from their positions in the Alabama House. In May, Representative Plump made the decision to resign. Following suit, Representative David Cole from Madison also resigned at the end of August. Cole faced a charge of knowingly voting at a polling place where he was not authorized to vote. Now, Representative Rogers has joined the ranks of his colleagues by pleading guilty to a criminal charge and tendering his resignation.

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