Fired COVID-19 Data Manager Rebekah Jones Sues FDLE Over Raid On Her Home

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    Former Department of Health data manager Rebekah Jones has filed a lawsuit (PDF) against the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, saying the Dec. 7 morning raid on her house was a “sham” to retaliate against her for not altering COVID-19 data. Tallahassee.com reports: Jones was fired in May for failing to change COVID-19 data, and soon launched her own online data dashboard. Gov. Ron DeSantis said her firing was because she disobeyed superiors; she said it was because she wouldn’t alter data to cast Florida in a more favorable light to justify the governor’s plans to reopen the state’s economy. In the lawsuit filed Sunday night against FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen, the department and several agents in Leon County Circuit Civil Court, Jones claims her constitutional rights were violated, including against unlawful search and seizure. She is seeking in excess of $100,000, according to the lawsuit’s cover sheet. She also claims she was unnecessarily roughed up. “We are trying to achieve some kind of redress,” said Rick Johnson, the lead attorney in both the civil suit and a separate whistleblower case. “This is still America. This is the kind of thing that happens in tinhorn dictatorships in third world countries.” Swearingen has defended the actions of the agents he said were “vilified” by the media. He blamed Jones for any risk of danger to herself or her family. He reiterated those comments in a statement released later Monday. “As I have said before, I am proud of the professionalism shown by our FDLE agents as they served a legal search warrant on the residence of Rebekah Jones. Our criminal investigation continues, and while I have not seen this lawsuit, I believe the facts will come out in court,” Swearingen said. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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