Orlando Florida. – New members of the Central Florida Tourism Supervisory District board of directors, appointed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, face new legal challenges against the Disney Company.
Before officially handing over the Reedy Creek Improvement District to new members, the Disney Company reportedly secured other under-the-table perks from the former board of directors that now leave new governor-appointed officers nearly powerless.
The situation portends a new legal battle that could reach the Supreme Court of the United States.
Martín García, president of the district, said that “we will face an economic monster with its legal power” when announcing the new challenge.
Specifically, the previous board approved a developer agreement giving Disney sweeping powers over the territory where the theme parks operate for the next 30 years and prohibiting new DeSantis-appointed members from changing the terms.
Daniel Langley, legal counsel, explained that “if as a board of directors we want to paint or make an administrative payment, we have to ask Disney for permission.”
For now, they’re hoping Disney will contact the attorneys to come to “a collaborative solution.”
The previous board’s agreements also include building another theme park and other smaller parks, which do not allow changes without Disney’s approval.
“These deals are unusual and suspicious, having been approved in recent months as an insurance policy for Disney,” Langley said.
For its part, Disney said in written statements that “all agreements signed between Disney and the District were appropriate and were discussed and approved in open public forums and notified pursuant to the Florida government’s Sunshine Act.”
Still, Langley said: “It is certain that these agreements are illegal and should not have been authorized because they lack public interest.”
During Wednesday’s session, the new board approved the hiring of law firms to challenge agreements that protected Disney.
Also, they will be looking for a new admin as the current one was part of the previous directive.
“We will need attorneys who have historically represented the State of Florida, we will go all the way in this new legal battle,” Garcia said.
The governor moved to take state control of the former Reedy Creek district that Disney had held since 1967 after the company opposed legislation known as “Don’t Say Gay.”