Quick Takes

Federal judge sets March trial date for Birmingham Rep. John Rogers

By: - November 7, 2023 11:52 am
Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, walks out of the Birmingham federal courthouse.

Rep. John Rogers, D-Birmingham, walks out of the Hugo L. Black U.S. Courthouse in Birmingham after being released from jail on Nov. 6, 2023. Rogers, who faces two obstruction of justice charges over allegations that he diverted money from a public youth baseball league to an associate, was jailed on Oct. 30 for contacting another witness in the case in violation of a bond. Rogers said the call was inadvertent. (Alander Rocha/Alabama Reflector)

Birmingham Rep. John Rogers could go to trial on obstruction of justice charges in March.

A federal judge Tuesday set a March 18 trial date for Rogers, who has pleaded not guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice in October after being charged with diverting public money from a youth baseball league to an assistant.

The assistant, co-defendant Varrie Johnson Kindall, will also go before the jury that day. U.S. District Judge L. Scott Coogler will oversee the trial.


Birmingham Rep. John Rogers released from jail

After spending a week in jail for violating the conditions of release on bond, Rogers was released Monday after he attempted to FaceTime a witness involved in the case twice. He said the call was made by mistake.

John Robbins, an attorney for Rogers, said Monday he was uncertain about how long the trial would take, since the case is “somewhat involved.”

The indictment accuses Rogers, who has served in the Alabama House for over 40 years, of directing hundreds of thousands of dollars for public projects in Jefferson County to a youth baseball league, with a portion of the money being kicked back to Kindall, an administrative assistant the indictment accuses Rogers of having a romantic relationship with.


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Alander Rocha
Alander Rocha

Alander Rocha is a journalist based in Montgomery, and he reports on government, policy and healthcare. He previously worked for KFF Health News and the Red & Black, Georgia's student newspaper. He is a Tulane and Georgia alumnus with a two-year stint in the U.S. Peace Corps.