State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges as he appeared for the first time in court on Thursday and told a media outlet that he rejected a plea deal from federal prosecutors.
Rogers was indicted on one count of obstructing justice and one count of obstruction by bribery in September following a fraud investigation involving a public works fund in Jefferson County. Both former State Rep. Fred Plump, Jr. (D-Fairfield) and Rogers’ assistant, Varrie Johnson Kindall, received federal charges due to the investigation.
Prosecutors with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) have accused Rogers of redirecting hundreds of thousands of dollars designated for a youth baseball league run by Plump to Kindall. They also claim Rogers attempted to convince an unidentified individual to lie to investigators with the FBI.
Before appearing in court on Thursday, Rogers told AL.com that the prosecutors offered him a plea deal, which he rejected. He also said he intends to run again for the Alabama House of Representatives when his term expires.
AL.com is a subsidiary of Advance Publications, owned by New York City billionaire Donald Newhouse.
1819 News attempted to reach out to both Rogers and Kindall personally through multiple outlets and did not get a response. However, 1819 News received a response from Rogers’ attorney John C. Robbins, who told 1819 News he was “not aware” if federal prosecutors offered Rogers a plea deal and that Rogers would decide at the end of his term if he intended to run again for office.
“He’s got three more years left on his current term,” Robbins said. “He intends to fulfill that. Let’s see at the end of his term what happens. He’s going to be 83 this December, so let’s see how his health holds up and everything. I’m sure he’ll make that decision, you know, at the end of his term.”
1819 News also attempted to speak with U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona, who announced the charges against Rogers last month, to see if Rogers received a plea deal but did not receive a response.
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