News Reedy Creek Improvement District and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member

Rhinocerous

Premium Member
I haven't read their request, but as someone who deals with ediscovery in large corporate litigation, we typically provide documents in TIFF format along with a TXT file of the extracted text (which is obviously searchable) and a load file with metadata. We also usually provide Excels natively, along with some other less common files like videos or audio. That's more or less standard practice in corporate litigation.

Sometimes productions are done entirely as PDFs (again other than native Excels) but that's not regular practice.

I also do a lot of government investigation work, and it's very similar. Some government departments/commissions require native production of PowerPoints along with Excels, and they often have some other specific requirements, but it's still generally TIFF/extracted text TXT file/metadata.

EDIT: I just skimmed through the document request and it's not really out of the ordinary. They are requesting native PowerPoints, but while that's less common, it's certainly not unheard of. The privilege log request is pretty standard too.
Okay thanks. As I said, I don’t know how these things usually go.
 

Stripes

Well-Known Member
That and they might have finally realized that ramming through a summary judgement isn't a sure thing.

Since the start of this they've just "declared" "facts" and acted like they're so obvious on the face of it they didn't even need to prove their allegations.
Some of the facts are obvious on their face but it’s not clear how the district has standing to bring such claims. For instance, clearly the district and Disney signed a contract giving Disney development rights within the cities of BL and LBV. Those development rights, at the time, were not under the district’s control. They were under the control of cities (however the development rights are now under the control of the district).

The cities were harmed by the contract, not the district. It is unclear how the district has standing to challenge the contracts because the cities were harmed.
 

Isamar

Well-Known Member
I suspect that the current board is mostly interested in a lengthy expensive process. They’re running the place in the meantime and everyone makes money while they wreak as much havoc as possible. No matter what happens in the end, they walk away unscathed and Disney foots the bill for the whole ugly process.
 

Isamar

Well-Known Member
Some of the facts are obvious on their face but it’s not clear how the district has standing to bring such claims. For instance, clearly the district and Disney signed a contract giving Disney development rights within the cities of BL and LBV. Those development rights, at the time, were not under the district’s control. They were under the control of cities (however the development rights are now under the control of the district).

The cities were harmed by the contract, not the district. It is unclear how the district has standing to challenge the contracts because the cities were harmed.
I think the district was designated to deal with planning for all 3 entities. IIRC this was referenced in the cities’ amendments to conform to the new Comprehensive Plan.

One of the district’s arguments is that the cities didn’t agree to the DA, but I can’t remember how Disney responded to that point. Disney did, however, point out that the district was required to join the cities in the lawsuit.

IMO the most interesting question in the “who can sue who” debate is the reality that the district now is legally the same entity as the district then. Many of their arguments boil down to accusing themselves of sloppy/negligent/corrupt conduct. (There’s also the side issue of other “affected property owners” but it seems unlikely that they’d have a viable argument there, even if they had standing to sue on behalf of those owners.)
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
Some of the facts are obvious on their face but it’s not clear how the district has standing to bring such claims. For instance, clearly the district and Disney signed a contract giving Disney development rights within the cities of BL and LBV. Those development rights, at the time, were not under the district’s control. They were under the control of cities (however the development rights are now under the control of the district).

The cities were harmed by the contract, not the district. It is unclear how the district has standing to challenge the contracts because the cities were harmed.
The development agreements have to tie to an existing comprehensive plan. The cities delegated their planning to the District and that is who maintained the comprehensive plan.

In regards to the discovery requests, as just one example, it’s not clear to me how Disney’s internal communications about DeSantis or the bills are in any way relevant to their case or Disney’s counterclaims.

I suppose they could be fishing for evidence that Disney controlled the Board, but Disney did not have “absolute control” over the board. Once elected, Disney could not force a board member out until the next election.
I imagine they’re looking for two things: 1) evidence that they were trying to subvert the legislature and 2) evidence of their acting in a political manner. They’re probably hoping to find someone referencing any of the stories shared here about what DeSantis was planning to do as a smoking gun that they were trying to subvert the legislation at the 11th hour.
 

drnilescrane

Well-Known Member
There’s also the side issue of other “affected property owners” but it seems unlikely that they’d have a viable argument there, even if they had standing to sue on behalf of those owners.
Plus Disney's shown their hand here by suggesting that they have restrictive covenants with all the other property owners.

There are no other affected property owners - they had no development rights to begin with.

That blows up some of the more technical arguments the district is making.
 

Isamar

Well-Known Member
Plus Disney's shown their hand here by suggesting that they have restrictive covenants with all the other property owners.

There are no other affected property owners - they had no development rights to begin with.

That blows up some of the more technical arguments the district is making.

Yup. Based on their request for production of deed restrictions or restrictive covenants I’d say they’ve finally (kind of) clued in to this issue and they’d like Disney to do their homework for them.
 

Isamar

Well-Known Member
God help us all if a Judge agrees that the agreements are a legitimate violation of public policy, considering the legislature introduced and passed said legislation within 72 hours.

And I’d bet that legislation was written in direct response to the Development Agreeement that was already in the process of being approved by RCID. Will discovery turn up some communication(s) that confirm this? 🤷‍♀️ but I wouldn’t be surprised.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
God help us all if a Judge agrees that the agreements are a legitimate violation of public policy, considering the legislature introduced and passed said legislation within 72 hours.
I honestly don’t think I could give the benefit of doubt to such a ruling. It’s just such tortured logic. The state was deliberately keeping the legislation secret and the process started a month before the new legislation was revealed. Unless someone slipped Disney a draft the timeline is very clear.

And I’d bet that legislation was written in direct response to the Development Agreeement that was already in the process of being approved by RCID. Will discovery turn up some communication(s) that confirm this? 🤷‍♀️ but I wouldn’t be surprised.
I think they were genuinely caught off guard. They would have included language to deal with the issue if they knew.
 

Stripes

Well-Known Member
How much are the district’s lawyers being paid? They made the same exact request for documents twice.
IMG_0502.jpeg
 

Stripes

Well-Known Member
I think the district was designated to deal with planning for all 3 entities. IIRC this was referenced in the cities’ amendments to conform to the new Comprehensive Plan.
The cities did hand their planning and permitting power to the district, but prior to HB 9B the ultimate power to issue permits and regulate zoning did rest with the cities according to the charters. Unclear to me if and how this complicated relationship changes things.
One of the district’s arguments is that the cities didn’t agree to the DA, but I can’t remember how Disney responded to that point. Disney did, however, point out that the district was required to join the cities in the lawsuit.
Disney pointed out the district was required to join the cities with regard to challenging the legality of the comprehensive plan and revisions to the LDRs, but not in regards to the Development Agreement granting Disney development rights within the cities.

In that case, Disney argues:

”Count III alleges that the Contracts invade the authority and jurisdiction of two municipalities without articulating any basis for Plaintiff—which is neither of those municipalities—to have standing to bring such a claim.”

The development agreement does not address permits required by the cities so perhaps Disney will argue that although they have an agreement with the district, they would still have had to go through the permitting process with the cities if not for HB 9B which gave the district near total power over the cities’ zoning regulations.

Meanwhile, the district argues that Disney has unclean hands and, because Disney exercised “absolute control” over the district, Disney is the cause the agreements invalidity. Still not clear to me though how the district was harmed by the development agreement.

If it is determined that Disney maintained control over the district, that would be a significant win for Disney’s federal case.
 
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flyakite

Well-Known Member
Orlando Sentinel article: https://www.orlandosentinel.com/202...rld-district-fires-2-senior-leaders-2-others/

Excerpts below:


Three days before Thanksgiving, leaders of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Disney World oversight district fired two senior staffers and two other employees.

The district on Monday dismissed Eryka Washington Perry, director of communications, and Jason Middleton, chief of human resources, along with an administrative assistant and facilities maintenance specialist, according to an internal email obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.

District officials declined to comment, but administrator Glen Gilzean addressed the employee “separations” in an internal email to employees late Tuesday.

“These separations were isolated and specific and are not representative of our team members who show up every day with excellence and a clear vision of a stronger tomorrow for our taxpayers and visitors,” Gilzean wrote in a memo that listed the employees’ names.

The memo said no other details would be released.

Both Washington Perry and Middleton were hired by the previous Disney-friendly administration known as Reedy Creek.

Middleton served as chief of staff to the former Reedy Creek administrator, John Classe.

With Gilzean in charge, Middleton moved to chief of human resources, district records show. Gilzean brought in Paula Hoisington, chairwoman of the Central Florida Urban League’s board, to serve as his chief of staff. She subsequently has been promoted to deputy district administrator.

Washington Perry, a former investigative reporter at WKMG-Channel 6, joined the district in October 2019, according to her Linkedin page. Until the new administration sidelined her, she had been the district’s lead media spokesperson.

Many of the district’s recent statements to reporters have been written by Athos, a public relations firm that bills itself as offering “strategic, high stakes communications experience in the private sector and at the highest levels of the federal government.”

District officials also have been referring reporters to Matthew Thomas Oberly, their new head of external affairs.
 

Figgy1

Premium Member
Orlando Sentinel article: https://www.orlandosentinel.com/202...rld-district-fires-2-senior-leaders-2-others/

Excerpts below:


Three days before Thanksgiving, leaders of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Disney World oversight district fired two senior staffers and two other employees.

The district on Monday dismissed Eryka Washington Perry, director of communications, and Jason Middleton, chief of human resources, along with an administrative assistant and facilities maintenance specialist, according to an internal email obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.

District officials declined to comment, but administrator Glen Gilzean addressed the employee “separations” in an internal email to employees late Tuesday.

“These separations were isolated and specific and are not representative of our team members who show up every day with excellence and a clear vision of a stronger tomorrow for our taxpayers and visitors,” Gilzean wrote in a memo that listed the employees’ names.

The memo said no other details would be released.

Both Washington Perry and Middleton were hired by the previous Disney-friendly administration known as Reedy Creek.

Middleton served as chief of staff to the former Reedy Creek administrator, John Classe.

With Gilzean in charge, Middleton moved to chief of human resources, district records show. Gilzean brought in Paula Hoisington, chairwoman of the Central Florida Urban League’s board, to serve as his chief of staff. She subsequently has been promoted to deputy district administrator.

Washington Perry, a former investigative reporter at WKMG-Channel 6, joined the district in October 2019, according to her Linkedin page. Until the new administration sidelined her, she had been the district’s lead media spokesperson.

Many of the district’s recent statements to reporters have been written by Athos, a public relations firm that bills itself as offering “strategic, high stakes communications experience in the private sector and at the highest levels of the federal government.”

District officials also have been referring reporters to Matthew Thomas Oberly, their new head of external affairs.

Athos touts on its website that it is doing promotional work for books written by former education commissioner Richard Corcoran and conservative activist Christopher Rufo, both DeSantis’ allies.
Does anybody know if they were considered at will employees? @LAKid53 what is the proper procedure for removing public employees? Is there a chance this smells worse than week old fish left out in Florida's summer sun?
 

Stripes

Well-Known Member
Orlando Sentinel article: https://www.orlandosentinel.com/202...rld-district-fires-2-senior-leaders-2-others/

Excerpts below:


Three days before Thanksgiving, leaders of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Disney World oversight district fired two senior staffers and two other employees.

The district on Monday dismissed Eryka Washington Perry, director of communications, and Jason Middleton, chief of human resources, along with an administrative assistant and facilities maintenance specialist, according to an internal email obtained by the Orlando Sentinel.

District officials declined to comment, but administrator Glen Gilzean addressed the employee “separations” in an internal email to employees late Tuesday.

“These separations were isolated and specific and are not representative of our team members who show up every day with excellence and a clear vision of a stronger tomorrow for our taxpayers and visitors,” Gilzean wrote in a memo that listed the employees’ names.

The memo said no other details would be released.

Both Washington Perry and Middleton were hired by the previous Disney-friendly administration known as Reedy Creek.

Middleton served as chief of staff to the former Reedy Creek administrator, John Classe.

With Gilzean in charge, Middleton moved to chief of human resources, district records show. Gilzean brought in Paula Hoisington, chairwoman of the Central Florida Urban League’s board, to serve as his chief of staff. She subsequently has been promoted to deputy district administrator.

Washington Perry, a former investigative reporter at WKMG-Channel 6, joined the district in October 2019, according to her Linkedin page. Until the new administration sidelined her, she had been the district’s lead media spokesperson.

Many of the district’s recent statements to reporters have been written by Athos, a public relations firm that bills itself as offering “strategic, high stakes communications experience in the private sector and at the highest levels of the federal government.”

District officials also have been referring reporters to Matthew Thomas Oberly, their new head of external affairs.

Athos touts on its website that it is doing promotional work for books written by former education commissioner Richard Corcoran and conservative activist Christopher Rufo, both DeSantis’ allies.
Eryka Washington Perry is the staff member that received the summons for Disney’s federal complaint.

If you’ll recall this was one of the first issues that arose. Disney and the board disputed who was properly served first.
 

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