A former Florida data scientist, who says she was fired for refusing to manipulate Covid-19 state data, questioned the motives of a judge who signed a raid on her home.
Judge Joshua Hawkes was sworn in in November.
“I don’t know the man personally, I’m not a connected person, but to be the most recent [Florida governor Ron] A Desantis employee assigned to family court, and just to be the first thing you sign, I think that speaks for itself, ”Rebekah Jones told CNN on Thursday.
Judge Hawkes signed off on the raid on Ms Jones’ home in Tallahassee. Body camera footage showed police entered the house with guns drawn on Monday.
The raid is said to have been Judge Hawkes’ first major act since taking the oath in November. He did not respond to a request for comment from The independent.
The raid added to the wider controversy surrounding the scientist’s dismissal in May, which state officials called insubordination.
“The governor was not involved in any investigation or legal proceeding related to such an investigation,” they said. “He expects, and has no doubt, that Ms. Jones will and should be granted all the rights and presumptions that this great country grants the accused.”
Lawyers for Ms Jones have challenged the basis for the raid, which seized a computer and cell phone from her home. Ms Jones says the articles contain evidence of state malfeasance surrounding her Covid response.
“Florida law enforcement actions captured on my client’s video show unnecessarily reckless and aggressive behavior while executing a search warrant for computers,” said Larry Walters, one of the his lawyers. The democrat. “We intend to thoroughly investigate the alleged basis of this search which resulted in the forced disclosure of confidential communications with our adversary in the context of litigation. ”
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said it raided Ms Jones’ home after tracing unauthorized use of the state’s emergency alert system to an IP address associated with the Ms. Jones’ Comcast account.
In November, someone gained access to the system and sent nearly 2,000 people an emergency alert that said, “It’s time to speak before another 17,000 people died.” You know this is wrong. You don’t have to be a part of it. Be a hero. Speak up before it’s too late. ”
Ms Jones filed a whistleblower complaint for her July dismissal with the state’s Human Rights Commission.