Michael Sasso resigns from DeSantis Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Board

Less than four months after its formation, a member of Central Florida’s controversial Tourism Oversight District Board of Supervisors has already resigned from his position – Michael Sasso.

Source: Sasso + Sasso, lawyers

Sasso was one of the first appointees by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to the Central Florida Tourism Supervisory District Board of Supervisors, which replaced the former Reedy Creek Improvement District Board in February. An experienced lawyer, Sasso is a partner in the firm that bears his name – Sasso & Sasso – in Orlando.

His term was due to expire in February 2027, making his resignation remarkably premature. Spectrum News 13 anchor Greg Angel confirmed the news today on his Twitter account.

NEW: We have confirmed that Michael Sasso resigned his position on the Central Florida Oversight District Board of Directors this week.

Sasso was one of five people the governor named earlier this year to serve on the board overseeing Walt Disney World’s special tax district. pic.twitter.com/AtsnZsbRo6

— Greg Angel (@NewsGuyGreg) May 26, 2023

No reason or explanation was given by Sasso or the CFTOD board, but it should be noted that his wife was recently nominated by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to serve on the Florida Supreme Court. The litigation between Disney, the CFTOD and the State of Florida, including Governor DeSantis, is still ongoing.

Lawsuits against Disney, DeSantis and CFTOD

The Governor of Florida and the Walt Disney Company first clashed over the company’s opposition to a hotly debated and controversial Florida law regarding classroom teaching and discussion of sexual orientation and gender. gender identity in public schools, as well as various other recent state laws and proposals along the same lines.

Bob Chapek was general manager at the time and initially remained silent and passive on the matter – until massive internal criticism from the cast and controversy over Disney’s practice of making heavy contributions policies to campaigns and individuals allegedly against their own declared human principles focus. .

In an apparent act of retaliation for Chapek’s expression of dissent, the governor pursued various verbal and legal assaults on Disney, including the attempted dissolution of Reedy Creek and the eventual transfer of power directly under his control. DeSantis argues that he is attacking a rather vague perception of something he calls “woke politics” pervading the state.

After heated exchanges and dramatic actions taken by Governor DeSantis in an apparent and self-proclaimed act of retaliation, The Walt Disney Company sued the Governor and his newly hand-picked Board of Directors, citing a “targeted campaign of retaliation by the government – orchestrated at every step by Governor DeSantis as punishment for Disney’s protected speech Plaintiff argues that this timeline of events “threatens Disney’s business operations, jeopardizes its economic future in the region, and violates its constitutional rights “.

The CFTOD Board of Supervisors voted to file its own countersuit against Disney, essentially seeking to nullify and delegitimize agreements Disney made with the former Reedy Creek Improvement District prior to its forced dissolution. The new 188-page complaint names the Council itself as plaintiff against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. The district is asking the court to render Disney’s development agreement with the Reedy Creek Improvement District unenforceable, null and void. They also ask for the same to apply to the restrictive covenants, which notably set the expiry date at 21 years after the death of the last living descendant of King Charles III, living on the date of the document.

While Disney’s lawsuit is in federal court, the Council’s lawsuit is in Florida state courts.

A recent poll shows that Americans think the court should rule in favor of Disney over Governor DeSantis and that citizens aren’t as concerned about “woke politics” as other issues.

For the latest Disney Parks news and information, follow WDW News Today on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Spencer Lloyd is a park-addicted college student living in Tokyo. He runs TDRPlans.com, a comprehensive source of travel planning and information related to Tokyo Disney Resort. And fun fact, he’s the only person in history to have been in the same vehicle as Tom Corless.

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