Rebekah Jones is formally a whistleblower underneath Florida legislation, the Workplace of the Inspector Normal informed her attorneys on Friday.
Jones, who was chargeable for constructing the COVID-19 dashboard for the Florida Division of Well being, was fired final 12 months after elevating issues about presenting “deceptive information” to the general public, in keeping with the criticism, which was reviewed by the Miami Herald.
Within the criticism, filed on July 17, 2020, Jones alleged that she was fired for “opposition and resistance to directions to falsify information on a authorities web site.” He described being requested to switch the information evaluation to adapt to a predetermined coverage and to take away the information from public view after questions from the press; actions that, in keeping with her, “signify rapid hurt to public well being, security and well-being, together with the potential of loss of life of members of the general public.”
On Friday, the Workplace of the Inspector Normal knowledgeable Jones that “the knowledge launched meets the factors for whistleblower standing as outlined by … Florida statutes,” in keeping with the e-mail obtained by the Herald.
Whistleblower standing presents Jones sure protections underneath Florida legislation, together with the potential of reinstatement or compensation if the continuing investigation determines that the division retaliated in opposition to Jones for issues he raised final 12 months.
It is fairly massive, ”Jones informed the Herald in response to the information. “This isn’t a declare, however it’s a begin. It is a breakthrough “.
The Florida Division of Well being and the governor’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to the Herald’s response for remark.
A division spokesman mentioned on the time that Jones was fired for “insubordination.”
Jones first appeared on nationwide tv final Could after Governor Ron DeSantis hit her with the press whereas standing subsequent to former Vice President Mike Pence. He ignored their issues and as an alternative questioned his credentials.
In a pending case, she was arrested by the Florida Division of Regulation Enforcement final January, charged with a 3rd diploma felony for allegedly breaking right into a state messaging system and inspiring individuals to “converse up.”
Since then, he has been on the middle of a heated controversy that escalated after a blogger who now works within the governor’s workplace wrote an article for Human Occasions titled “THE SAGA ‘FLORIDA COVID-19 WHISTLEBLOWER’ IS A BIG LIE.” which pointed to Jones’ persona and Twitter background, together with a historical past of minor arrests, none of which led to convictions.
Regardless of the allegations, Jones has maintained that his superiors within the division requested him to “manipulate” and “erase” the information associated to COVID. Emails from the company reviewed by the Miami Herald and others present Jones was requested to take away the information from public view after receiving questions on it from the Herald.
The investigation into Jones’ allegations is ongoing.
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