Chip Rogers announces resignation from state Senate

by: Lori Geary Updated:


ATLANTA - A man who was once one of the most powerful lawmakers in Georgia announced he was stepping down Tuesday to work at a newly created state job.

State Sen. Chip Rogers, R-Cherokee County, made the announcement less than a month after getting re-elected.

Channel 2's Lori Geary tried to ask Rogers why he was stepping down, but both the senator and his staff went to great lengths to avoid her questions Tuesday.

Rogers' secretary tried blocking Geary and her photographer from exiting the state Capitol as Rogers literally ran out a side door.

Earlier in the day, Rogers' staff locked his office door inside the state Capitol as Geary tried to go in and ask questions about his sudden departure to a newly created position at Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Rogers was once one of the most powerful state lawmakers in Georgia, but just weeks ago he announced he would not run again as Senate majority leader.

Earlier this year, the head of the Christian Coalition called on him to resign after Channel 2 Action News reported on his connection to gambling.

Rogers admitted to appearing on a program that predicted the outcomes of sporting events, but he denied participating in gaming.

Two years ago, Channel 2 Action News also reported how a Bartow County bank sued Rogers for his part in a $2 million unpaid loan for a motel in Gordon County.

As a Republican leader, Rogers has successfully sponsored and passed numerous bills, including Georgia's recent charter-school amendment, immigration reform and a crackdown on dogfighting.

"We wish him the best in his future endeavors and I appreciate his service to the state," said Sen. Ronnie Chance, the majority leader.

The man who campaigned on getting government out of people's lives will now be working for the government.

When Geary finally caught up with him, Rogers would only say, "Got to get to my son's basketball practice. I'd be happy to talk later."

Rogers sent out an email statement on Tuesday afternoon that read, "The opportunity to help lead Georgia Public Broadcasting is like a dream come true in many respects. The incredible team put together by Director Ryan is among the best in broadcasting. I really look forward to joining their efforts."

Geary has asked how much Rogers' new position with Georgia Public Broadcasting will pay. She is still waiting for that information.

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