Just weeks before Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced a handpicked new board to take over Disney’s special governance district in Orlando, the entertainment giant created a statement saying any changes to the district must be made. to benefit Walt Disney World. .
The development threatens to reignite the feud between DeSantis and Disney. The disagreement reached a tipping point last year amid Disney’s opposition to a state law that prohibits the teaching of gender and sexual orientation to students in kindergarten through third grade.
on february 8 document, first reported by the Orlando Sentinelgrants Disney «prior review and comment» on any changes made to properties in the district, formerly known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District and now known as the Central Florida Tourism Supervisory District.
That document also states that the declaration will be enforceable «in perpetuity» or, if deemed unenforceable, «until 21 years after the death of the last surviving descendants of King Charles III, King of England.»
According to the BBCthese «real lives» clauses date from the 17th century, although they are rarely used.
NBC affiliate WESH-TV reported Tuesday that while the document was created more than a month ago, new members of the oversight board were barely aware of it.
“I cannot think of a more brazen attempt to circumvent the will of the voters and the will of the Florida Legislature,” new member Brian Aungst Jr. said according to the station. «That’s offensive to me.»
The new chairman of the board, Martín García, said that challenging the document would likely result in «protracted litigation» and suggested that the case could go to the US Supreme Court, the affiliate reported. The board voted to hire two outside law firms to investigate the legal challenges, he said.
In a statement, a representative for DeSantis said his office was aware of what it called Disney’s «last-minute efforts» to grant itself «new rights and authorities» ahead of the special district’s change of status.
«An initial review suggests that these agreements may have significant legal flaws that would void the contracts as a matter of law,» said communications director Taryn Fenske. «We are pleased that the new governor-appointed board has contracted with various financial and legal firms to conduct audits and investigate Disney’s past behavior.»
Representatives for the Walt Disney Co. did not immediately respond to a request for comment.