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DeSantis Signals New Action Against Disney Not Over After Old Board Made Last Minute Deal

   DailyWire.com
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during an event on his nationwide book tour at Adventure Outdoors, the largest gun store in the country, on March 30, 2023 in Smyrna, Georgia. - DeSantis is widely expected to enter the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/AFP via Getty Images

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sent a letter to the state’s chief inspector general on Monday directing her to review a last minute agreement that the Reedy Creek Improvement District entered into with Walt Disney World.

The old board signed the agreement to transfer its power to the company on February 8, and the agreement was recorded with the Orange County Comptroller on February 9 — the same day that the Florida House passed legislation that renamed the Reedy Creek Improvement District to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District and removed Disney’s self-appointed board and replaced it with a board appointed by the governor.

DeSantis’ office said in an email that “all legislative options are back on the table” in response to the Reedy Creek Improvement District’s actions. 

The governor said in a letter to Melinda Miguel, Chief Inspector General; and Commissioner Mark Glass, Florida Department of Law Enforcement; that the agreement was “designed to usurp the authority of the CFTOD board.”

“These collusive and self-dealing arrangements aim to nullify the recently passed legislation, undercut Florida’s legislative process, and defy the will of Floridians,” DeSantis said. “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 governor formally requested that Miguel, in consultation with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, launch a thorough review and investigation into the actions of the old board.

DeSantis said that the investigation should include an analysis of the following:

  • RCID’s adherence to applicable Florida civil and criminal laws and ethics requirements;
  • The qualifications of RCID’ s prior Board of Supervisors and the legal validity of their actions;
  • The involvement of Walt Disney World employees and agents in the execution of RCID’s actions;
  • Any financial gain or benefit derived by Walt Disney World as a result of RCID’s actions and RCID’s justification for such actions;
  • All RCID board, employee, or agent communications related to RCID’ s actions, including those with Walt Disney World employees and agents; and
  • All RCID board, employee, or agent communications related to House Bill 9-B, Reedy Creek Improvement District, Orange and Osceola Counties, and the CFTOD.
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