- The Office of Gov. Ron DeSantis asserted on Wednesday that the former Board of Supervisors for the formerly Disney-owned Reedy Creek Improvement District engaged in last-minute agreements in the leadup to the state’s takeover of the special district.
- Individuals close to the governor told The Capitolist that attorneys working for Disney brokered last-minute contract agreements granting the company more developmental power over the district, preventing the state from acquiring authority.
- The district’s new oversight group stated on Wednesday that it will employ outside legal services to examine the legality of the agreements. During a conference call this afternoon, the DeSantis Administration stated that they view the contracts void as a matter of law and unable to be enforced.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis‘s team asserted on Wednesday that in the days leading up to Reedy Creek Improvement District’s transition to state control, attorneys working for Disney brokered last-minute contract agreements granting the company more developmental power over the area.
The new state-controlled board notified the DeSantis administration that the outgoing Disney-controlled members signed a thirty-year agreement that allows Disney to retain major control of the authority over public lands, land-use agreements, and various operational responsibilities.
“The Executive Office of the Governor is aware of Disney’s last-ditch efforts to execute contracts just before ratifying the new law that transfers rights and authorities from the former Reedy Creek Improvement District to Disney,” said Taryn Fenske, Communications Director for the Office of Governor DeSantis. “An initial review suggests these agreements may have significant legal infirmities that would render the contracts void as a matter of law. We are pleased the new Governor-appointed board retained multiple financial and legal firms to conduct audits and investigate Disney’s past behavior.”
The district’s new oversight group stated on Wednesday that it will employ outside legal counsel to examine the legality of the agreements. During a conference call this afternoon, the DeSantis Administration stated that they view the contracts void as a matter of law and unable to be enforced. The administration also said that they were unaware of the agreements until the new board solicited all financials and documentation.
Setting his sights on Reedy Creek last year after Disney publicly opposed a law that restricts instruction about gender identity and sexual orientation in schools, DeSantis signed legislation drafted and passed during a recent special session that stripped the company of control over Reedy Creek. The House Bill officially renames the district to the “Central Florida Tourism Oversight District,” and granted the governor the right to appoint the five individuals to the Board of Supervisors.
DeSantis announced the five individuals who will serve on Reedy Creek Improvement District’s Board of Supervisors late last month, effectively completing the state’s takeover of the district.
The five supervisors — Sarasota school board member Bridget Ziegler, Attorney Brian Aungst, Jr., Seminole County Bar Association President Mike Sasso, CEO of The Gathering USA Ron Peri, and attorney Martin Garcia, who will serve as the Board’s Chair — will hold voting power over any governmental decisions made within the district.
Prior to the bill’s signing, landowners within Reedy Creek elected Board members. Due to Disney’s ownership of the majority of land within the district, the corporation was effectively able to hand-select the Board’s supervisors. Preventing Disney from still having a stake in the district’s management, a provision within the bill prevents any individual who was employed by or affiliated with the company within the past three years from serving on the Board.
Earlier this year, DeSantis signed legislation drafted and passed during a recent special session that strips Disney of control over Reedy Creek. The House Bill officially renames the district to the “Central Florida Tourism Oversight District,” and granted the governor the right to appoint the five individuals to the Board of Supervisors.The Capitolist attempted to reach Disney for comment but did not receive a response.
This is a developing story.
ROTFLMAO!!! DeSantis just got schooled in his vile vengeful assault on businesses that want to be decent, do the right thing. What about the word Fascist don’t you understand?
But that is what happens to religious bigots like DeSantis trying to make political points by attack poor people who were born with a brain sex, the only one that counts, different from their body sex.
These poor people need your help, not hat,e as their lives are difficult enough. Where is your grace?
BTW what sex are people with male and females sex organs or no sex organs? Fact is there are many sexes, not just 2.
Keep it up and DeSantis and Repubs will lose big time as every under 40 yr old voter and women vote next election.
Bless your heart. You really believe this LMAO
Bravo, and spot on!
Deathsantis must go He is a threat to public health
Big bullies usually get their way! Politics???
Um, if a contract was signed, WHO on DeSantis’ side signed it? We all know that the democratic Disney can outmaneuver any Republican with only a lust for power and control. It’s legal if those Republicans signed it! LOL. Good for Disney!
Florida has almost 2000 Special Districts. The former Reedy Creek was unique among those 1932 Special Districts. The Districts status was recently changed by the Legislature and I’m sure it will be changed again in response to the latest ‘development’. Guaranteed the FL Legislature will most certainly act again and probably very soon. Nice delaying tactic by Disney but it will eventually be for naught and Disney will be back to square one…again.
DeSantis didn’t go after Reedy Creek district because it was “unique.” He went after it to punish Disney for respecting ALL of its employees (and visitors) and declining to impose DeSantis’s cultural agenda on them.
Outsmarted by a mouse and the Governor is 3 steps behind.