Rebekah Jones turned down a plea offer she thinks is politically inspired and claimed she is willing to go to demo and possibility jail to stand up to what she states is political retribution from Gov. Ron DeSantis.
On Tuesday, a Leon County Circuit Courtroom Choose set a demo day for Jones’ scenario for Jan. 23, 2023. Jones is going through a felony demand of accessing a laptop or computer method without the need of authority.
Jones effortlessly gained the Democratic Bash most important for the 1st Congressional District Aug. 23 immediately after facing a authorized problem to her candidacy, and is managing against Rep. Matt Gaetz for the seat in the November election.
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Jones attained nationwide notice in 2020 after remaining fired from her Florida Department of Wellbeing place and alleging DeSantis’ administration manipulated knowledge about COVID-19 instances and fatalities.
A condition inspector basic report produced previously this 12 months identified no proof of wrongdoing by the Office of Health, but Jones however has a situation pending prior to the Florida Commission on Human Relations in excess of her firing.
Prosecutors allege that after Jones was fired, she logged on to the Florida Division of Health’s pc techniques and despatched out a mass textual content concept making use of the condition crisis inform method to a lot more than 1,700 persons. The message called on point out staff members to discuss out on COVID-19.
Jones has denied the prices.
Plea problems negotiations
Jones informed the Information Journal that prior to the primary, she experienced been doing the job on a plea offer with prosecutors. Jones explained her lawyers had been negotiating on two circumstances of the offer, 1 of which demanded an admission of guilt. Jones mentioned she was eager to acknowledge she shared in the accountability for influencing an individual else to mail the mass textual content message.
Jones offered email messages in between her attorney and prosecutors that showed the plea deal was remaining negotiated. On July 29, Assistant Point out Attorney Georgia Cappleman instructed Jones’ attorney she had “lots of individuals” to check with on the plea deal.
Having said that, on Aug. 24, a day after Jones won the Democratic principal, Cappleman available a new plea deal, now with 11 disorders which include that Jones withdraw her case just before the Florida Fee on Human Relations and shell out the condition $21,123 for the expense of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s investigation into Jones.
The settlement also demanded Jones to see a certified mental well being skilled for 1 hour for every thirty day period and execute 100 several hours of group company.
Cappleman informed the Information Journal she could not remark on plea offer negotiations.
Jones stated her lawyers met with prosecutors Aug. 26, and when introduced with the conditions of the plea deal, she advised them she would combat the cost in court.
“You you should not think that I might be prepared to go to prison to put Ron DeSantis beneath oath, to pressure him to have to respond to to each lie he ever advised?” Jones mentioned.
Jones explained she thinks the condition has gone far too far by putting the issue to withdraw her Human Relations criticism.
“This is not a thing I will ever end combating for,” Jones explained. “I don’t know if they miscalculated for the reason that they considered all I cared about was this election, or all I cared about was fame or all I cared about was cash — whatever they consider it was that I cared about this entire time they were off the … mark. For the reason that the only factor I ever cared about was generating absolutely sure that (DeSantis) was held liable, and I am going to get that.”
Jim Minimal can be reached at [email protected] and 850-208-9827.