State Representative Accused Of Obstructing Federal Investigation

( – A longtime member of the Alabama House, Rep. John Rogers, was indicted this week on charges of attempting to interfere with a federal investigation.

On Wednesday, federal prosecutors announced that Rogers was charged with obstructing an investigation into state grant money that was possibly misused. The Birmingham Democrat and one of his assistants, Varrie Johnson Kindall, are accused of offering someone additional grant money to provide federal agents with false testimony while they investigated possible kickbacks to the assistant.

Rogers, who is 82 and has served in the Alabama House of Representatives since 1982, was hit with two counts of obstruction of justice. Kindall, whose charges were announced last month, received one count of conspiracy to commit fraud. Rogers said he’s “pretty confident” that he will “be cleared” of all charges and that he looks forward to his “day in court.”

Another lawmaker, former Alabama Rep. Fred Plump Jr., was also connected to the kickback investigation and arrested in May. The 76-year-old agreed to resign from the House of Representatives, and as part of a plea deal, Plump pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and obstruction. In the plea agreement, prosecutors said Plump took around $200,00 of a $400,000 grant that was steered by Rogers to a youth sports league and then gave it back to the assistant.

The latest indictment of Rogers and Kindall accuses them of offering assistance earlier this year in securing state grants to hand out as a bribe to “obstruct, delay, and prevent” a so-far-unnamed “Individual #1” from “communicating information” to IRS and FBI agents that would indicate criminal violations.

Including Rogers, three Alabama lawmakers have been indicted this year. Aside from Plump, the other is Rep. David Cole,” who also took a plea deal and resigned in a case unrelated to Rogers and Plump. Cole was charged with using a fake address in a district he didn’t live in to run for office there.

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