DeSantis Cites “Insubordination” for Firing

DeSantis Cites “Insubordination” for Firing

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration said Tuesday evening that a Department of Health employee who helped create Florida’s COVID-19 information “dashboard” was fired for insubordination, disputing allegations that she was terminated for refusing to manipulate data.

“Rebekah Jones exhibited a repeated course of insubordination during her time with the department, including her unilateral decisions to modify the department’s COVID-19 dashboard without input or approval from the epidemiological team or her supervisors,” DeSantis spokeswoman Helen Ferre said in a prepared statement. “The blatant disrespect for the professionals who were working around the clock to provide the important information for the COVID-19 website was harmful to the team.”

The dismissal came as a growing number of Democrats called for an investigation into Jones’ removal from her job, first reported by the Florida Today newspaper. Cabinet member Nikki Fried has asked Department of Health Secretary Scott Rivkees to appear before the state Cabinet next week to answer questions about Jones’ firing.

Democratic lawmakers also said they want answers from Rivkees, while state Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo called for an investigation into the firing.

Jones, a geographic information systems manager for the department’s Division of Disease Control and Health Protection, told the paper that she was fired for refusing to manipulate data. She subsequently told CBS 12 news that she was removed because she was ordered to censor some data but refused to “manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen” the economy.

DeSantis called the situation a “non-issue,” noting at a Tallahassee news conference Tuesday that the COVID-19 dashboard has been lauded by the Trump administration and researchers.

“Our dashboard has been recognized nationally. Dr. Birx (federal coronavirus official Deborah Birx) has praised it multiple times. It’s a heck of a tool. Just as we are very transparent with this, you can drill down and see all of the different data on each individual county. I think that’s a very good thing.”

DeSantis has taken a series of steps this month to reopen the economy after businesses shut down or scaled back to prevent the spread of the virus.

17 Responses to "DeSantis Cites “Insubordination” for Firing"

  1. There probably should be several instances of written counseling that the employer can point to, if this was done as a clear pattern of corrective action. It probably sends a chill across the state. Data tends not to go away. I hear from some scientists that the virus has not gone away. I hear that it is in the community around Washington DC. I don’t understand why Trump is reluctant to wear a mask.
    Oh, I believe they are civil servant positions hired through the State. In this case, probably the healthcare system or hospital or agency where the servers are housed.
    In fairness, maybe only 3 people have died. Hallelujah.

  2. NORMALLY counselling/ reprimanding is done prior to firing, I’d like to know if there was any, if not, it was done for political reasons.

  3. Funny, the last 2 days the deaths reported were 7 on the 18th and 3 on the 19th. The next lowest day of deaths was 22. Pretty sure numbers don’t work like this. Something smells rotten in Florida and it seems to be coming from Tallahassee.

  4. Not following orders to falsify and manipulate data could also be described as insubordination. So both sides could be telling the truth. Once side’s story doesn’t negate the other.

  5. Just Dems making shit up to attack the Gov. Fried hoping we forgot her trip to Atlanta. She would have been fired if she wasn’t an elected official. The Gov owes no explanation for any of his personnel decisions. Commissioner Fried doesn’t explain hers either.

  6. Real easy to figure out here, does Rebekah Jones have proof of her allegations? If yes, there you have it; if no, then she has no case. “Democratic lawmakers” apparently have far too much time on their hands if they are trying to meddle in HR issues. Perhaps they should get jobs outside of government?

  7. Ah. More shiftless, loser democrats in search of an “issue” to promote their obvious next candidate for governor. Firing a state employee is the job of managers.

  8. There is nothing partisan about falsifying data. Real simple guys call that “lying”. You are not a simple guy.

    1. The most important thing of all is to always stand with Democrats who accuse Republicans, regardless of what crimes the accuser committed as documented, because Republicans are much worse, right?

  9. Why, exactly, would a “growing number of Democrats” demand an investigation into the standard labor practice of terminating an employee for insubordination? Are these jobs filled by way of an election?… are these “partisan” positions? Do applicants for these positions have to open a campaign or “job seeking” account? Do they put up yard signs run TV and radio “hire me” commercials? If fired from one of these positions, are your required to appeal or file a grievance through the local Republican and Democrat Executive Committee?

    … just some simple questions from a simple guy…

      1. I take it you were absent the day they taught “sarcasm”. Although you clearly passed your “bitterness” exam with flying colors. TDS is far more damaging than the China Virus… if you don’t get help at Charter, get help somewhere.

      2. Your lock-step, sycophant, idiotic Democratic Party politics that you endorse, promote, and sweep under the rug have finally caught up with you.

        Go clean up your own backyard before you step in this yard and spread your pollution.

  10. Insubordination in the workplace refers to an employee’s intentional refusal to obey an employer’s lawful and reasonable orders. Such a refusal would undermine a supervisor’s level of respect and ability to manage and, therefore, is often a reason for disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Would something like amassing and falsifying information then sending it to state and federal authorities rather than following board policy and reporting anything that was amiss to the school board attorney or the school board would that be considered in subordination? If so somebody ought to look into Rocky Hanna.

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