Disney is revolting against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ handpicked board which is set to take over oversight of the company’s special district in Orlando. Hours before the Florida legislators were set to approve the takeover, the former members of the special district attempted to transfer their duties to Disney’s control. Taryn Fenske, a spokesman for DeSantis said the Governor is not fooled by Disney’s actions, saying, “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.”
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On February 8th, the Reedy Creek Improvement District transferred most of its power to Disney for the next 30 years without telling anyone. Fenske states that the contract between the district and Disney is illegal and therefore will be voided.
“An initial review suggests these agreements may have significant legal infirmities that would render the contracts void as a matter of law,” Fenske said. “We are pleased the new Governor-appointed board retained multiple financial and legal firms to conduct audits and investigate Disney’s past behavior.”
The secret agreement was not discovered until Wednesday, during a meeting of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board, the board which DeSantis replaced the Reedy Creek board with. New board member, Brian Aungst Jr., expressed his distaste for Disney’s actions, “I can’t think of a more naked attempt to circumvent the will of the voters and the will of the Florida Legislature and the will of the governor.”
“This development agreement, which in my opinion is void … was passed the same day the Florida House passed the bill creating this board, and it was done to prevent us from doing our job,” he continued. “That is offensive to me.”
Disney responded to the new revelations in a statement, “All agreements signed between Disney and the District were appropriate, and were discussed and approved in open, noticed public forums in compliance with Florida Government in the Sunshine law.”