FDLE raids home of former FDOH official who says she refused to manipulate COVID data – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (WSVN) – Federal authorities raided the home of a former Florida Department of Health employee who says she was fired because she refused to manipulate COVID-related data.

Video captured the Monday morning raid at Rebekah Jones’ Tallahassee home. The former FDOH data analyst is seen answering the door, then raising her hands as agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement moved in.

Back in May, Jones addressed her firing from the state agency.

“I was told, and this is a quote, ‘We can’t tell Jackson and Franklin County they can’t reopen, but Broward and Miami can,’” she said.

Jones reportedly helped manage the state’s popular COVID-19 website. She said she was let go when she wouldn’t change data to be more favorable toward Florida’s reopening plans.

Since then, she has created a competing website that taps into the state’s coronavirus data.

When pressed on her termination earlier in the year, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called her credibility into question.

“She’s being charged with cyberstalking and cyber sexual harassment,” he said.

Following Monday’s raid, Jones posted a 29-second video on Twitter, as well as a series of tweets.

In one tweet, she wrote, “They took my phone and the computer I use every day to post the case numbers in Florida, and school cases for the entire country. They took evidence of corruption at the state level. They claimed it was about a security breach. This was DeSantis. He sent the Gestapo.”

In a statement, FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen claimed the department started investigating Jones back in early November, “…regarding unauthorized access to a Department of Health messaging system which is part of an emergency alert system, to be used for emergencies only. Agents believe someone at the residence on Centerville Court illegally accessed the system.”

During the raid, Jones said, agents had their guns drawn on her family, including her children.

She discussed the raid on CNN, late Monday night.

Agents, however, said they entered 20 minutes after Jones refused to answer the door or take their calls.

Jones has alleged wrongdoing by the state for months, but DeSantis is standing by the website, indicating all data is available and transparent.

“Any insinuation otherwise is just typical partisan narrative trying to be spun,” he said.

Late Monday night, Swearingen amended his statement to say, “At no time were weapons pointed at anyone in the home.”

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