Rebekah Jones: Florida Licensed Data Scientist Goes To Jail And Tests Positive For Covid-19
Rebekah Jones has been charged with one count of offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices, the FDLE said. She went to the Leon County Detention Center on Sunday.
Jones was released from jail Monday afternoon after posting bail. Wearing a mask, she told reporters outside the prison that she had just tested positive for Covid-19.
Jones made no further comment as she walked alongside her lawyer to a vehicle.
In a series of tweets on Saturday, Jones announced his intention to surrender to authorities.
“To protect my family from the continued police violence and to show that I’m ready to fight whatever they throw at me, I turn into police in Florida on Sunday night,” Jones tweeted.
“The governor will not win his war on science and free speech. He will not silence those who speak out.”
Jones was fired from the Florida Department of Health in May and has repeatedly criticized Gov. Ron DeSantis’ handling of the Covid-19 crisis.
“It’s time to speak up before another 17,000 people die,” said a Nov. 10 message, according to the affidavit. “You know it’s wrong. You don’t have to be a part of it. Be a hero. Speak up before it’s too late.”
Officials traced this message to an IP address linked to Jones’ home, according to a search warrant affidavit.
The lawsuit says IP addresses are generally “spoofed” and refers to news articles that revealed that the system username and password of the message that triggered the investigation was publicly available on the site. Ministry of Health website.
Governor faces scrutiny
The Jones investigation comes as DeSantis comes under increasing scrutiny over its handling of the pandemic.
Jones, who helped build the state’s coronavirus dashboard, has become one of the governor’s toughest critics, publicly alleging DeSantis was to blame for the growing death toll.
The evidence was on “a bunch of USB drives” that officers took away when they searched her house, Jones said. She said she also had documents to which she had legal access since becoming a government employee.
The search warrant enabled officers to recover “any computer equipment” that stores or transmits data, including hard drives, devices, software and correspondence “relating to the possession, receipt, origin or distribution of data involving the facilitation of computer crimes. . ”
Florida labor attorneys have said state employees who allegedly disclosed internal Jones files could face disciplinary action or possibly legal issues – although they may be able to seek protection in under state whistleblower laws.
CNN’s Curt Devine, Kay Jones and Casey Tolan contributed to this report.