BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — State representative John Rogers made his initial court appearance to enter his plea concerning two charges related to an alleged fraud case on Thursday at Hugo L. Black Courthouse.
Rogers is facing one count of obstruction of justice and one count of obstruction of justice by bribery. His attorney John Robbins said his client maintains his innocence.
“As he said in court, very definitively, he’s not guilty. And we look forward to our day in court. So, now the fun begins,” Robbins said.
Also appearing before Judge Staci Cornelius was Varrie Johnson Kindall, Rogers’ longtime assistant. She has been indicted on 14 counts, including wire and mail fraud, as well as obstruction of justice, to which she also pled not guilty.
In court, it was revealed that Rogers was currently residing with Kindall. Rogers’ attorney maintains that the arraignment is only while Rogers recovers from hip surgery.
“He is residing with Ms. Kindall, I believe she lives in Chelsea. She is acting as a caretaker and a caretaker only,” Robbins said. “That’s it.”
Judge Cornelius also instructed both Rogers and Johnson not to discuss the case — an order Robbins said his client will abide by.
”John Rogers will follow the judge’s instructions; He will not violate any order of the court,” Robbins said. “It’s as simple as that.”
Robbins said Rogers was unable to speak with the media due to a doctor’s appointment, but that he is ready for the fight ahead.
”He’s in good spirits. He looks forward to clearing his name,” he said.
No trial date has been set as of yet. If convicted, the 83-year-old Rogers could face 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
CBS 42 obtained Roger’s motion to the court to provide a more definite statement on the charges he faces, which can be read below: