The board picked by Florida Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis to oversee Walt Disney World’s governmental district is seeking a victory in a state lawsuit over Disney without going to trial.
The lawsuit from the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board, first filed in May, alleges that its predecessor, the Disney-controlled Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), unlawfully approved agreements regarding Disney World’s future development.
In a motion for a summary judgment filed Tuesday, the claimed that “there is no genuine dispute” on five counts in its suit, including failing to follow Florida’s requirements for property owners to be given public notices on developer agreement. “The undisputed facts show that RCID failed to so in several key respects that render the Agreements void and unenforceable as a matter of law,” the motion said.
In fact, Disney has appeared to dispute those claims; its unsuccessful May motion to dismiss the state lawsuit said, “Public notice appeared twice in a prominent Orlando newspaper, and there were two public hearings on the subject. Over no objection, the contracts were executed in early February.”
Florida’s move for a summary judgment comes just after DeSantis said of the battle with Disney, “We’ve basically moved on,” in a CNBC interview.
The two sides are engaged in two separate lawsuits; the aforementioned one in state court and a federal suit where Disney has alleged DeSantis and the board engaged in a “targeted campaign of government retaliation” to deprive Disney of its rights under the Contract Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment.
The complaint stretches back to DeSantis’ push to take over the Disney-controlled district after the company publicly opposed the state’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law, which forbids discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in public school classrooms.