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Investigation: No retaliation against COVID-19 whistleblower

Rebekah Jones .jpeg
The Miami Herald
Rebekah Jones stands outside her office at the Florida Department of Health where she built the COVID-19 data dashboard.

There’s nothing to indicate the Florida Department of Health told an employee to falsify COVID-19 data and she wasn’t fired out of retaliation, according to a state investigator’s report released this month.

Former department employee Rebekah Jones received national attention when she raised questions about the state’s COVID-19 dashboard and claimed she was fired for exposing problems. The state said she was fired for insubordination after being reprimanded several times.

An inspector general’s 268-page report found no evidence of wrongdoing or retaliation by the department.

Jones, a Democrat who is running for the U.S. House seat now held by Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, is also facing criminal charges after authorities said she illegally accessed the Department of Health’s computer system to send a message to 1,750 people and downloaded confidential data and saved it to her devices.