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Alabama Rep. John Rogers charged with obstructing federal investigation

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State Rep. John Rogers, a longtime member of the Alabama Home of Representatives, has been indicted on expenses of attempting to impede a federal investigation into the potential misuse of state grant cash, federal prosecutors introduced Wednesday.

The indictment accuses Rogers, a Democrat from Birmingham, and his assistant of providing extra grant cash as a bribe to influence an individual to provide false info to federal brokers who had been investigating potential kickbacks that prosecutors mentioned had been paid to Rogers’ assistant.

Rogers, 82, is charged with two counts of obstruction of justice, and his assistant Varrie Johnson Kindall is charged with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, cash laundering, obstruction of justice and tax expenses. Prosecutors first introduced expenses towards Kindall final month.

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“I am fairly assured that I will be cleared. Wanting ahead to my day in court docket,” Rogers wrote in a textual content to The Related Press.

Rogers has served within the Alabama Home of Representatives since 1982. A public defender listed in court docket information as representing Kindall didn’t instantly return an e mail searching for remark.

John Rogers

Rogers is the second lawmaker arrested in reference to the investigation. Former Rep. Fred Plump Jr. pleaded responsible to conspiracy and obstruction expenses in a part of a plea cope with prosecutors.

Prosecutors wrote within the plea settlement that Plump took about $200,000 of the $400,000 in grant funds that Rogers steered to his youth sports activities league over a number of years and gave it again to Rogers’ assistant. Plump resigned from the Alabama Home of Representatives.

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The cash got here from the Jefferson County Neighborhood Service Fund, a pot of tax cash distributed by space lawmakers for initiatives within the county.

Prosecutors mentioned that Rogers additionally directed grant cash to a different group and that the group’s founder, known as “Particular person #1” within the indictment, additionally “gave a portion of that cash to defendant Varrie Johnson Kindall.”

The indictment mentioned earlier this yr Rogers and Kindall supplied help in acquiring state grants as a bribe “to impede, delay, and forestall Particular person #1 from speaking info referring to a violation of a legal statute” to FBI and IRS brokers.

Rogers is the third Alabama lawmaker to face legal expenses this yr. In an unrelated case, Rep. David Cole, a Republican from Huntsville, resigned and agreed to plead responsible in August to expenses of utilizing a fraudulent handle to run for workplace in a district the place he didn’t dwell.

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