Did Disney think it would be this easy? Did they not remember who they were dealing with? Either way or both ways, it doesn’t matter, but I would love a kilo of whatever they were smoking. (How much is a kilo?)
Disney tried a head fake on the state of Florida and they thought they were home free after the old board signed an agreement that would Disney control forever by tying the measure to the descendants of Charles III.
“[T]his Declaration shall continue in effect until twenty-one (21) years after the death of the last survivor of the descendants of King Charles III, King of England living as of the date of this Declaration.”
DeSantis said during a book stop tour in Smyrna, Georgia:
“There’s a lot of little back-and-forth going on now with the state control. But rest assured — you ain’t seen nothing yet. There’s more to come in that regard.”
News 6 WKMG reported that the discovery was made by the lawyers that were hired by the new board. The special counsel also discovered that the old board used a law known as the “rule against perpetuities” that basically gives Disney control for, well, forever.
According to Cornell Law School:
The rule “states that no interest in land is good unless it must vest, if at all, not later than twenty-one years after some life in being at the creation of the interest.”
Said board member Ron Peri:
“I cannot tell you the level of my disappointment in Disney. 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.”
“I mean, I don’t know what else to say,” Peri added. “I think these documents are void ab initio, I think they were an extremely aggressive overreach, and I’m very disappointed that they’re here.”
The new board has retained legal counsel as they prepare to fight Disney in court over the matter.
“On the day that the legislation was passed by the Florida House, the former board and Disney entered into a development agreement and deed restrictions that essentially stripped most of the governing authority of the district and also made certain promises and concessions to Disney for many, many years out into the future,” said board member Brian Aungst, Jr. “They have tried to take that away from this board, the ability to provide that oversight, and we’re not gonna let that stand.”
Disney claimed in a statement that their actions were in full compliance with Florida law.
“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,” DeSantis’ office said in a statement. “An initial review suggests these agreements may have significant legal infirmities, that would render the contracts void as a matter of law. We are pleased the new Governor-appointed board retained multiple financial and legal firms to conduct audits and investigate Disney’s past behavior.”
The Attorney General’s office sent the following letter to the former members of the Disney-appointed board:
I write to advise you of the attached public records request, which the Office of the Attorney General submitted to the entity formerly known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District (the “District”) under Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes. It is likely, if not certain, that you possess records responsive to this request, which would include emails and text messages sent on personal devices or accounts if they were “made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by” the District. See § 119.011(12), Fla. Stat.
To the extent you possess responsive records that are not in the custody or control of the District, this letter advises you of your legal obligation to retain copies and to provide the records to the District as soon as possible. See § 119.10, Fla. Stat. (discussing applicable civil and criminal penalties for violations of Chapter 119).