Rebecca Jones alleges that Florida law enforcement (FDLE) officials violated her First Amendment rights, lost due process and illegally confiscated her computers, cellphone and storage media during a December 7 search of her home. Sunday.
The lawsuit alleges that unnamed FDLE agents seized Jones’ midfield during the search “without approval, authorization or formal basis.”
Jones, who was fired from the Florida Department of Health in May, has repeatedly criticized the government’s handling of the corona virus crisis by Ron Desantis, but has refused to send any such message.
Jones’ lawsuit alleges that the basis of the search warrant was a fraud to punish her for “protected speech”.
The lawsuit alleges that IP addresses were generally “fraudulent” and referred to news articles that found that the username and password for the news organization that triggered the investigation were publicly available on the Department of Health’s website.
Under Florida law, the lawsuit alleges that “no reasonable authority considers access to the site a crime.”
“The FDL tried to engage itself with Desantis, trying to silence the plaintiff by confiscating his online text on his computer and seizing his cell phone,” the lawsuit said.
Jones asked the court to return his belongings and pay damages.
FDLE Commissioner Rick Swarongan, who was named as the defendant in the case, said FDLE agents acted properly when executing the search warrant.
“I am proud of the professionalism they have shown as our FDLE agents worked on a legal search warrant at Rebecca Jones’ home. Our criminal investigation continues and although I have not seen this case, I hope the facts will come out in court,” Swarong said in a statement Monday.
Jones was suspended in May because he “repeatedly showed disobedience” and modified a state data portal without input or approval from epidemiologists or his supervisors. Jones argued that he was fired for refusing to falsify state corona virus data.