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Florida COVID Data Whistleblower Turning Herself In

It's not clear what charge Rebekah Jones faces
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2021 12:06 AM CST

(Newser) – Rebekah Jones, the Florida data scientist who was fired, then had her home raided, after she claimed the state was manipulating its COVID numbers, said she would turn herself in to authorities on Sunday night. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a warrant for Jones' arrest, and the former Florida Department of Health employee said she would surrender to show she's ready for a fight, USA Today reports. NBC News reports it's not clear what charge or charges Jones is facing, but she posted a series of tweets Sunday indicating that the charge bears no relation to the raid on her house last month, the Hill reports. That raid was carried out to determine whether Jones was connected to a message sent out via the state's emergency management system in November; it called on all civil servants to act as whistleblowers on the state's coronavirus response.

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"FDLE found no evidence of a message sent last Nov. to DOH staff telling them to 'speak out' on any of the devices they took - the entire basis for the raid on my home in Dec. The warrant was based on a lie. We argued this in court just last week. This should be victory," Jones tweeted. "However, police did find documents I received/downloaded from sources in the state, or something of that nature... it isn't clear at this point what exactly they're saying I had that I shouldn't have had, but an agent confirmed it has nothing to do with the subject of the warrant. The raid was based on a lie. Still, the state has issued a warrant for my arrest - even though the 'crime' is not related to the warrant, the scope of the warrant, and they didn't wait for a third party to review confidential information on my computers. The new allegation was issued the day after a Tallahassee judge told police that if they're not investigating a crime, they had to return my equipment." (Read more Rebekah Jones stories.)

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