Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has directed the state's Chief Inspector General to investigate the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) following recent developments regarding the state's takeover of the district.
Disney's final agreement with the RCID and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts appears to have significantly limited the power of the DeSantis-appointed Central Florida Tourism Oversight board.
The move was widely celebrated by liberals on social media as a victory of the entertainment giant over DeSantis’ Republican administration.
The new Developer Agreement, signed on February 8 as the Florida House passed legislation to gain control of the RCID, grants Disney substantial authority over RCID land and restricts the board's ability to alter the agreement.
During a March 29 special meeting to discuss the Developer Agreement, one board member lamented the loss of control, while another, Brian Aungst, stated, "We gave governmental control to Disney."
The board's legal counsel noted several "unusual" and "suspect" agreements made over recent months. Disney maintains that all agreements were appropriate and approved in compliance with Florida's Government in the Sunshine law.
In response, Governor DeSantis has instructed the Chief Inspector General to investigate the following areas:
- RCID's adherence to Florida's civil and criminal laws and ethics requirements
- The qualifications and legal validity of actions taken by RCID's prior Board of Supervisors
- The involvement of Walt Disney World employees and agents in RCID's actions
- Any financial gains or benefits to Walt Disney World resulting from RCID's actions and justifications for such actions
- Communications between RCID board, employees, or agents and Walt Disney World employees and agents regarding RCID's actions
- Communications related to House Bill 9-B, the RCID, Orange and Osceola Counties, and the CFTOD.