SARASOTA, FL – Sarasota attorney Ron Filipkowski has resigned and protested Monday’s Florida Department of Law Enforcement raid on Rebekah Jones’ home.
Upon stepping down from his position as commissioner and vice chairman of the 12th Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission, of which he has been a member for more than 10 years, he shared his resignation letter on Tuesday on Twitter.
The Republican attorney expressed concern about the treatment of Jones, a former health department data scientist who helped build the state’s coronavirus dashboard. Filipkowski called the whistleblower “a hero”.
FDLE agents confiscated their cell phones, computers and hard drives during the raid on Monday. According to an arrest warrant, an unauthorized message was sent from the state’s emergency management account on November 10, forcing DOH staff to speak. It was traced back to an IP address on Jones, USA Today reported. She refused to send the message.
In his resignation letter, Filipkowski wrote: “I have followed the events with Ms. Jones, seen the quality of her replacement, and checked the search warrant that resulted in her home being searched (Monday) by several armed officers I have seen and read these acts and find her incomprehensible. Even if the alleged facts are true, I would still call her a heroine. “
He also criticized DeSantis’ handling of the pandemic.
“The governor’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has made me increasingly concerned,” he wrote. “I believe this state’s policy towards COVID is ruthless and irresponsible.”
Filipkowski said that despite his concerns, he has remained in his JNC position until now because the role was unrelated to health policy.
“The recent events regarding public access to truthful data about the pandemic and Rebekah Jones’ specific treatment have now turned the problem into a legal problem, not just a medical one.”
This Jones investigation comes as coronavirus cases continue to surge in Florida. The DOH reported 9,442 new cases Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 1,083,362. It is one of only three states with more than 1 million cases, along with California and Texas. COVID-19 deaths are also rising, reaching 19,716 on Wednesday.