Gaetz captured 69 percent of the vote. Lombardo, a former executive with FedEx who was aided and backed by allies of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, received 25 percent.

Rep. Matt Gaetz’s Opponent Rebekah Jones To Stand Trial In Florida COVID-19 Data Case

Former Florida Department of Health data analyst Rebekah Jones, who drew national attention when she said Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration manipulated COVID-19 data, is scheduled to stand trial in January on allegations that she improperly accessed a department computer system.

Former Florida Department of Health data analyst Rebekah Jones, who drew national attention when she said Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration manipulated COVID-19 data, is scheduled to stand trial in January on allegations that she improperly accessed a department computer system.

Jones’ trial is scheduled to start Jan. 23 in Leon County circuit court, according to a notice posted this week in an online docket.

Jones, who is running for a Northwest Florida congressional seat against Republican Matt Gaetz in the November election, was fired from her Department of Health job in May 2020. She was charged in January 2021 with illegally accessing the computer system in November 2020.

Authorities 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.

In the news: DeSantis Allies Revive Democrat Crist’s Falsehoods About Florida Parental Rights Law

Jones denied sending the message. In unsuccessfully seeking a dismissal of the case, her attorneys said the system was used by multiple people who shared a username and password.

Jones made national headlines in 2020, claiming that FDLE officers executed a search warrant on her home, pointing guns in her face and at her children. She took to GoFundMe raising a few hundred thousand dollars but stopped the fundraiser when bodycam footage of her search warrant was released.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released the full video of body-worn cameras during the Rebekah Jones ‘raid’.

In December 2020, FDLE said, “The actions of Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) agents have been vilified over the past few days regarding the legal search warrant executed at the residence of Ms. Rebekah Jones. Because of inaccurate and incomplete statements given by certain individuals, the body camera video taken from outside the home is being made available. FDLE is comfortable with the release of this video because it will not interfere with the cybercrime investigation.”

Commissioner Swearingen stated, “This video demonstrates that FDLE agents exercised extreme patience. Search warrants are one of the most dangerous events a law enforcement officer will engage in and many officers are killed each year during the execution of search warrants. No search warrant is routine or without potential officer safety issues regardless of the underlying crime. Agents afforded Ms. Jones ample time to come to the door and resolve this matter in a civil and professional manner. As this video will demonstrate, any risk or danger to Ms. Jones or her family was the result of her actions.”

“I am proud of the way these FDLE agents performed. I can only hope those same individuals who criticized these public safety heroes will now apologize and condemn the actions of Ms. Jones. The media should also demand Ms. Jones release the entirety of the video she recorded while agents were present in her home.”

Watch: FDLE Executes Search Warrant At Rebekah Jones’ Home

In December 2020, after the Rebekah Jones search warrant was executed, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke his mind about FDLE and Jones.

“Just because you’re a darling of some corners of the fever swamps, that does not exempt you from following the law,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said during an appearance in Tampa.

DeSantis said that in the course of the investigation, an Internet Protocol (IP) address attached to a computer at Jones’ home was used to access the state site. DeSantis called the claims made by Jones a conspiracy theory and said “obviously, she’s got issues.”

DeSantis was asked if he “knew the ‘raid’ was going to happen.”

“I knew there was an investigation. I didn’t know what they were gonna.. and it’s not a raid. I mean, with all due respect, what you just said is editorializing,” DeSantis said to a reporter, “These people did their jobs. They’ve been smeared as the Gestapo for doing their jobs. They did a search warrant. Why did they do a search warrant on the house? Because her IP address was linked to the felony. What were they supposed to do, just ignore it?”

The governor said that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s approach to the case followed investigative guidelines. 

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