A former Florida official who made accusations against Gov. Ron DeSantis has herself wound up in legal trouble.
Rebekah Jones, the Florida Department of Health’s former dashboard manager, has had her scheduled prosecution delayed under what has been called a “deferred prosecution agreement.”
In 2021, Jones was charged with illegally accessing the department’s computer system to contact 1,750 people and to download confidential information, which she then allegedly saved to private devices.
Jones, the creator of the state’s COVID database, was fired in May 2020 for “insubordination” after she was repeatedly reprimanded, Florida Today reported.
Jones claimed the department fired her for refusing to forge COVID-19 numbers, which an investigation later concluded was false.
The Daily Caller added:
In December 2020, Florida police raided Jones’ home and seized her computer and data equipment to investigate these allegations.
Jones had been scheduled to stand trial for these charges in January 2023 in Leon County. She accepted a plea deal Wednesday on the conditions that sh pays $20,000 in investigative fees to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement at a rate of $200 per month, performs 150 hours of community service at the minimum rate of 13 hours per month, sees a mental health professional, pleads guilty and pays a $100 fee to the State Attorney’s Office upon filing the agreement, according to the agreement.
In order to have a felony charge against her dismissed, Rebekah Jones agreed to pay a $20,000 fine, complete 150 hours of community service, see a licensed therapist and – a big one –admit guilt. On Substack, Jones is taking a victory lap claiming complete and total vindication. pic.twitter.com/xHUSjdJCf5
— Brandon Meyer (@meyer0656) December 9, 2022
She must also abide by pre-trial intervention conditions that include refraining from breaking the law, “working regularly,” and reporting to a pre-trial intervention officer each month, the document said.
Previously, she accused DeSantis’ administration of lying about COVID sickness and death numbers and claimed that she was fired for refusing to fudge numbers to justify lifting pandemic restrictions.
She made several media appearances on left-wing cable news programs during which she leveled her accusations.
Inspector General Michael J. Bennett declared Jones’ allegations to be false in an internal report after conducting interviews with dozens of people who collected state COVID data, including supervisors for Jones.
“The OIG found no evidence that the DOH misrepresented or otherwise misled the public regarding how positivity rates were calculated,” the report said. “The definitions for overall and new case positivity were provided on the Data Definition sheet and Health Metrics Overview, which were both linked to the dashboard, and were consistent with testimonial evidence obtained by the OIG.”