- This article is about the State Representative. For others with the same name, see John Rogers (disambiguation).
John W. Rogers Jr (born December 16, 1940 in Birmingham) represents House District 52 in the Alabama House of Representatives. He is also the director of Rogers & Rogers Inc., which provides photography and public relations services, and is Director of Minority Affairs for UAB.
Rogers was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1982 and has been re-elected six times. He currently sits on the committee for boards and commission, and for education appropriations. As a member of the Jefferson County Legislative Delegation he has been an outspoken supporter of a domed stadium for Birmingham and a proponent of removing UAB from the control of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees.
Rogers sponsored the legislation creating the Birmingham Racing Commission in 1984, that paved the way for construction of the Birmingham Turf Club and the return of live horse racing to Alabama. The road leading to the facility was named John Rogers Drive in his honor.
In 1989 Rogers was indicted on federal bribery charges relating to legislation affecting the United Mine Workers. FBI investigators collected wiretap evidence that was played for jurors, but because his speech was largely unintelligible, he was acquitted at trial before Judge James Hancock.
In 1990, Rogers, and fellow Representatives Pat Davis and Jim Wright, were charged with using their elected offices to extort more than $30,000 from mineworkers union officials in return for support of a coal bill then in the Legislature. Davis was convicted while Rogers and Wright were acquitted.
Rogers serves on the boards of the 4th Avenue YMCA, the Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau, the St Andrew's Foundation, and the Sickle Cell Foundation. He is a member of the National Conference of Christians and Jews and the Boy Scouts of America.
In the May 2009 sentencing hearing of Samuel Pettagrue, then-Assistant U.S. Attorney William C. Athanas strongly implied in open court that Rogers was involved in the fraud for which Pettagrue and E. B. McClain had been convicted, but that Rogers was not indicted because his part of the scheme occurred in 2001 and the statute of limitations had run out.
Rogers and his wife, Jennie, have three children; Jerena, Tammy and John III. He is a member of St Mary's Catholic Church.
In debate over Alabama's 2019 Alabama abortion bill, which would make it a felony to perform or attempt to perform an abortion in the state for any reason other than to save the life of the mother, Rogers' hyperbole was condemned by conservative pundits as evidence of "extremism" from Democrats. The controversy caused a rift between Rogers and Senator Doug Jones, who had previously represented Rogers as a defense attorney, and led to Rogers hinting at a possible primary challenge.
In 2023 Rogers and his assistant Varrie Johnson were implicated in a kick-back scheme involving his allocations from the Jefferson County Community Service Fund to fellow Representative Fred Plump's Piper Davis Youth Baseball League. Plump allegedly wrote checks to Johnson from the league's account, and also began seeing her romantically. Plump resigned from the House of Representatives when he was charged with federal crimes.
Rogers was indicted on September 27 on charges of obstruction relating to the investigation, specifically alleging that he had offered public funds to the founder of another nonprofit in exchange for false testimony. Rogers and Johnson pleaded not guilty before federal magistrate Staci Cornelius on October 12. During the hearing it was disclosed that he was living at her home in Chelsea while recovering from hip surgery. On October 30 Cornelius ordered Rogers to be jailed pending a hearing for violating the terms of his bond by contacting a prosecution witness.
- Gordon, Robert K. (March 10, 2010) "UAB surrenders to FBI records from programs overseen by Alabama state Rep. John W. Rogers Jr." The Birmingham News
- Dean, Chuck (March 14, 2010) "Scrutiny not new for John Rogers." The Birmingham News
- Palmer, Ewan (May 2, 2019) "‘Some kids are unwanted, so you kill them now or you kill them later’ Alabama Rep. Criticized over Abortion Ban Remarks." Newsweek
- Johnson, Roy S. (May 6, 2019) "John Rogers on his mistake and how Doug Jones ‘hollered;' the senator responds." The Birmingham News
- Whitmire, Kyle (May 24, 2023) "Alabama state Rep. John Rogers has been the feds’ target for 35 years. He isn’t afraid." AL.com
- Denham, Hannah & Joseph D. Bryant (September 27, 2023) "Alabama lawmaker John Rogers indicted on federal charges of obstruction, bribery: ‘I’m so innocent’." AL.com
- Bryant, Joseph D. & Hannah Denham (September 27, 2023) "Who is Rep. John Rogers? Longtime Alabama lawmaker indicted in federal kickback scheme." AL.com
- Bryant, Joseph D. & Hannah Denham (October 12, 2023) "Rep. Rogers and assistant plead not guilty in Birmingham court, drive off together." AL.com
- Denham, Hannah & Joseph D. Bryant (October 30, 2023) "Rep. John Rogers arrested for violating bond by FaceTiming witness in his bribery case." AL.com