Former State Rep. Fred Plump, Jr. (D-Fairfield) pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy and obstruction of justice after the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) accused him of conspiring with others to siphon money from a public works fund in Jefferson County, which it said involved the submission of false and fraudulent information to county officials.

Now, according to reports, Plump faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each charge. On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge L. Scott Coolger accepted Plump’s plea and scheduled his sentencing for October 23.

Plump was released on a $5,000 bond.

In May, the DOJ said Plump’s charges followed an investigation into the Jefferson County Community Service Fund (JCCSF), which the Alabama Legislature created in 2015 along with the Jefferson County Community Service Committee, a 1% sales tax and a 1% use tax. The taxes went into effect in 2017.

According to the law, JCCSF revenue, which equated to around $3.6 million a year, must be distributed according to specific priorities, such as increasing the county’s general fund and funding local boards of education.

Lawmakers representing Jefferson County could make recommendations to the Jefferson County Community Service Committee about fund allocation by submitting information about the organization and confirming it intended to use the money for one of the allotted purposes of the fund.

According to a statement from the DOJ, another lawmaker directed $400,000 to the Piper Davis Youth Baseball League, in which Plump served as the executive director. Plump, in turn, gave around $200,000 in kickbacks to the other lawmaker’s assistant. 

State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) identified himself as the unnamed lawmaker in the DOJ statement following Plump’s resignation from the Alabama Legislature earlier this year.

The DOJ also accused Plump of obstructing evidence by sending Rogers’ assistant a text stating “Red Alert” and meeting with her to warn about the investigation.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced a special election date for Plump’s former district, District 55, earlier this month. The special primary election will be on September 26, 2023, and the special general election will be on January 9, 2024. 

District 55 represents a central portion of Jefferson County, including a significant part of Birmingham.

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