Outlets are reporting that the Florida Attorney General’s office is requesting public records documents related to Disney’s last-minute agreement with the former Reedy Creek Improvement District.
Florida Politics reports that Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Chief of Staff James Percival sent a records request to the Reedy Creek Improvement District today, asking for information on emails, text messages and other correspondence between district employees and board members about the agreement. The full request reads as follows:
Please provide copies of all emails, text messages, and other correspondence from or to employees, board members, or other affiliates of the Reedy Creek Improvement District regarding the following topic: Documents discussing agreements, covenants,or similar documents approved or considered by the Board of Supervisors on February 8, 2023. Please limit your search to documents discussing an intention or goal of circumventing, avoiding, frustrating, mitigating, of otherwise attempting to avoid the effects of anticipated actions by the Florida Governor and Florida Legislature.
If you believe that individuals no longer affiliated with the Reedy Creek Improvement District may possess responsive public records that are not in you custody or control, please advise how the Attorney Generals Office may be of assistance.
I ask that this request be expedited to the maximum extent possible.
Percival and Moody’s spokesperson did not respond to questions from Florida Politics on whether Moody is launching an official investigation. RCID administrator John Classe did not respond either.
Earlier today, Governor Ron DeSantis’ office did release a statement of intent to “investigate Disney’s past behavior” over a contract signed the day before Gov. DeSantis signed a bill which transformed the Reedy Creek Improvement District into the Central Florida Tourism Oversight board, which includes five members personally appointed by the governor. The new board may not have any serving member who has worked for a theme park company in the past three years.
One of Reedy Creek’s important agreements includes the Declaration of Restrictive Covenants and the Developer’s Agreement — which outlines Disney’s rights over District property for the next 30 years, regardless of what the new board says.
We looked over the Declaration, which includes a clause that would keep it in effect until 21 years after the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III passes away. The Declaration also states that the board cannot use any of Disney’s “fanciful characters.”
The new board vowed to fight back following the revelation of these documents. “I cannot tell you the level of my disappointment in Disney,” controversial appointee Ron Peri said yesterday. “I thought so much better of them. This essentially makes Disney the government. This board loses, for practical purposes, the majority of its ability to do anything beyond maintain the roads and maintain basic infrastructure.”
Another board member, conservative Twitter personality Bridget Ziegler, shared her anger on Twitter, stating:
The arrogance of @disney continues… from ignoring parents and allowing radicals to sexualize our children, to now ignoring Florida taxpayers by sneaking in a last minute sweetheart development agreement, Disney has once again overplayed their hand in Florida. We won’t stand for this and we won’t back down. If unlawful actions were taken, this development agreement will be nullified.
Florida Attorney General Requesting Documents Related to Last-Minute Reedy Creek-Disney Deal
At the meeting yesterday, Martin Garcia, the CFTOD Board Chair, discussed how powerful and rich Disney is and how they would need to take an “adversarial position” against the company. He also suggested that they take this case to the Supreme Court in “protracted litigation” against Disney.
A statement from the multiple law firms retained by the CFTOB to fight this case told CNN:
The lack of consideration, the delegation of legislative authority to a private corporation, restriction of the Board’s ability to make legislative decisions, and giving away public rights without compensation for a private purpose, among other issues, warrant the new Board’s actions and direction to evaluate these overreaching documents and determine how best the new Board can protect the public’s interest in compliance with Florida Law.
As of yet, official investigations have not been opened by the state.