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Disney attorneys want to question former administrator in lawsuit with DeSantis appointees
Disney attorneys want to question a previous administrator of the Walt Disney World governing district as part of its defense against a lawsuit brought by a board made up of appointees of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Disney attorneys want to question a previous administrator of the governing district that provides municipal services to Walt Disney World as part of its defense against a state lawsuit brought by a board made up of appointees of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Disney attorneys said in court papers Monday that they have subpoenaed John Classe, the former administrator of what was previously called the Reedy Creek Improvement District for 55 years until it was renamed the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District earlier this year during a takeover by DeSantis and the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature. The takeover of the district, which was previously controlled by Disney allies, came after the company publicly opposed a state law banning classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades.
Following the takeover, Classe was replaced by DeSantis ally, Glen Gilzean.
Classe was in charge of the district when the governing body signed agreements with Disney which shifted control over design and construction at Disney World to the company and prohibited the district from using the likeness of Disney characters or other intellectual property without Disney’s permission. The agreements were signed in February before the district takeover by the DeSantis appointees, who claim the contracts neutered their powers. The appointees are now suing Disney in state court in an attempt to void the deals.