Rebecca Jones has been charged with a crime against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices, the FDLE reported. She surrendered at the Leon County Detention Center on Sunday.
In a series of tweets on Saturday, Jones announced his intention to surrender to authorities.
“To protect my family from ongoing police violence and to show that I am ready to fight anything thrown at me, I become a Florida police officer on Sunday night,” Jones tweeted.
“The governor will not win his war with science and freedom of speech. He will not silence those who speak.”
Jones was fired by the Florida Department of Health in May and has repeatedly criticized Secretary of State Ron DeSantis over the Covid-1
“It is time to speak out before another 17,000 people die,” a statement sent on November 10 said, according to the affidavit. “You know that’s wrong. You don’t have to be a part of it. Be a hero. Speak before it’s too late.”
Officials tracked the message to an IP address associated with Jones’ house, according to the search warrant.
The lawsuit states that IP addresses are usually “forged” and refers to news articles that establish that the username and password for the messaging system that triggered the investigation are publicly available on the health department’s website.
The governor is facing increasing control
Jones’ investigation comes as DeSantis faces increasing control over the handling of the pandemic.
Jones, who helped build the country’s coronavirus dashboard, has become one of the governor’s harshest critics, publicly claiming that DeSantis is to blame for the growing casualties.
After her shooting, Jones published her own board with Covid-19 statistics. She said she had received internal records from people who had worked for the state, including what she said was evidence that government officials were “lying in January (2020) about things like internal reports and CDC notices.”
That evidence was for “a bunch of flash drives” that officers took when they broke into her house, Jones said. She said there were also documents she had legally had access to since she was a civil servant.
The search warrant allows officers to recover “any computer equipment that stores or transmits data, including hard drives, devices, software and correspondence” relating to the possession, receipt, origin or dissemination of data related to the facilitation of crimes against computer crimes. ”
Florida employment attorneys said government officials who sent Jones internal records could face disciplinary action or possibly legal problems – although they may be able to seek protection under state reporting laws.
CNN’s Curt Devine contributed to this report.