- Gov. Ron DeSantis has ordered an investigation into possible civil and criminal breaches by the previous Board of Supervisors of the now-defunct Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), particularly related to its relationship with Disney.
- The investigation will focus on the legality of a contract between Disney and RCID that granted the company more developmental control over the area and any financial benefits derived by the entities.
- The DeSantis administration considers the contracts void and unenforceable. The Florida Attorney General has also requested all records, emails, and other communications related to developmental negotiations mediated by the RCID.
On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis directed Florida’s Chief Inspector General to launch an inquiry into possible civil and criminal breaches by the previous Board of Supervisors of the now-defunct Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID).
Per information given to The Capitolist, the investigation, in consultation with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, will be launched to examine RCID’s adherence to Florida’s civil and criminal laws and ethics requirements.
Last week the DeSantis administration discovered that in the days leading up to Reedy Creek’s transition to state control, attorneys working for Disney brokered last-minute contract agreements granting the company more developmental control 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 investigation will also deliberate the legal validity of RCID’s former Board of Supervisors’ actions, as well as the involvement of Walt Disney World employees and agents in executing RCID’s actions.
Furthermore, the state will focus on any financial benefit derived by Walt Disney World and RCID, with all communications among board members, employees, and agents to be examined.
“These collusive and self-dealing arrangements aim to nullify the recently passed legislation, undercut Florida’s legislative process, and defy the will of Floridians,” wrote DeSantis. “In addition, based on initial observations of counsel, the RCID board’s actions appear to suffer from serious legal infirmities, including, among other things, inadequate notice, lack of consideration, improper delegation of authority, and ethical violations, such as conflicts of interest and self-dealing.”
The district’s new oversight group also stated last week that it will employ outside legal counsel to examine the legality of the agreements. During a conference call on the matter, 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.
Last week, the office of state Attorney General Ashley Moody initiated an official request for the procurement of all pertinent records, emails, text messages, and other correspondences pertaining to developmental negotiations mediated by the RCID.