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John Rogers, longest serving Alabama Democrat, to plead guilty to federal charges, resign

Rogers has signed a plea agreement admitting to his role in a kickback scheme.

State Rep. John Rogers on the floor of the Alabama House.
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Rep. John Rogers has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy charges related to a kickback scheme that saw him receive thousands of dollars meant for nonprofit organizations in his district, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Northern District of Alabama. 

Rogers, a Democrat representing the Birmingham area, signed the plea agreement earlier this month and prosecutors are recommending that the 83-year-old lawmaker be sentenced to 14 months of home confinement and repay more than $197,000. He also will resign from the Alabama House seat he’s held for more than 40 years. 

According to the plea agreement, Rogers admitted to participating in a scheme that saw him direct more than $400,000 between 2018 and 2023 to youth sports charities controlled by former Rep. Fred Plump, who then kicked back around $200,000 to Rogers and his assistant, Varrie Johnson Kindall. Plump pleaded guilty and resigned from the legislature last year. Kindall pleaded guilty last month. 

In another scheme, Rogers admitted in the plea agreement to sending $10,000 to another charity, and along with Kindall, receiving $1,800 for “administrative fees.”

Prosecutors claimed that Rogers and Kindall reached an agreement for Kindall to accept responsibility for the scheme, and in exchange Rogers would “take care of her personal issues.” 

In total, Rogers was facing 20 federal charges and the potential of several decades in prison. As a result of the plea deal, he will be charged with just two crimes – conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice. The other 18 charges will be dismissed.

Josh Moon is an investigative reporter and featured columnist at the Alabama Political Reporter with years of political reporting experience in Alabama. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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