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Disney invoked the name of King Charles III in an unusual bid to quietly upend Gov. Ron DeSantis' (R-Fla.) plan to rein in the "corporate kingdom's" continued self-governance, multiple outlets reported.
"I cannot tell you the level of my disappointment in Disney. I thought so much better of them," Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board member Ron Peri said, as reported by WKMG Wednesday.
"This essentially makes Disney the government," Peri also said.
Peri is an Orlando-based former pastor and CEO of the Gathering whom DeSantis chose as one member of the five-member body to replace the special tax district's then-existing board.
In February, DeSantis signed a bill dissolving Reedy Creek Improvement District. In its place, he installed the CFTOB.
Apparently unbeknownst to DeSantis, RCID transferred the bulk of its government-like powers over to Disney just "hours" before Florida's House of Representatives approved the takeover, Fox News Digital explained.
The term of the agreement chosen when RCID signed its powers over to Disney is unusual and appears to be an attempt to render a takeover by Florida a nonstarter, unless the state passes new legislation.
Disney's move is called a "Declaration of Restrictive Covenants." It ensures Disney has the last word on any alterations to the property and calls for the board to inform Disney about its plans for any alterations, National Public Radio explained.
The portion of the legal maneuver involving King Charles III is called the "Rule Against Perpetuities."
"[This] Declaration shall continue in effect until 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," the document said, using verbiage more typically used in the United Kingdom.
According to Peri, the document defangs the CTOFB, leaving the body with little beyond the ability to "maintain the roads and maintain basic infrastructure," the outlet also reported.
It appears the fight for control of the "corporate kingdom" in the Sunshine State is not over yet.
"An initial review suggests these agreements may have significant legal infirmities that would render the contracts void as a matter of law," a spokesperson for DeSantis told the Wall Street Journal Saturday.
The spokesperson also said the CFTOB had "retained multiple financial and legal firms to conduct audits and investigate Disney's past behavior."
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