Support local journalism. Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club.

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Criminal case against COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones to continue

Posted By on Wed, Jun 30, 2021 at 10:35 AM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA REBEKAH JONES
  • Photo via Rebekah Jones

A Leon County circuit judge Tuesday refused to dismiss a criminal charge against former state COVID-19 data analyst Rebekah Jones, who has been accused of illegally accessing a Florida Department of Health computer system.

Judge Francis Allman issued a one-page order denying Jones’ motion to dismiss the case but did not explain the decision.

Jones, who was fired from her health department position in May 2020, has received national attention after alleging that Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration manipulated data about COVID-19 cases and deaths. The attention increased in December when Jones posted a video of armed state agents executing a search warrant at her home.

Prosecutors in January charged her with illegally accessing the computer system Nov. 10. Authorities have accused her of sending a message on an internal Department of Health multi-user messaging account.

“It’s time to speak up before another 17,000 people are dead. You know this is wrong. You don’t have to be part of this. Be a hero. Speak out before it’s too late,” the message said.

Jones has denied sending the message. In a June 10 motion to dismiss the case, her attorneys said the system was used by multiple people who shared a username and password.

“For purposes of this motion to dismiss, the allegations do not amount to a crime no matter who accessed the (account), because all access was accomplished through a widely available username and password,” the motion to dismiss said.

Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

Tags: , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 19, 2022

View more issues


© 2022 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation