NEWS: DeSantis’ Reedy Creek Board Admits It Failed To Search for Documents in Disney Lawsuit

We have an update on the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District’s (CFTOD) state-level lawsuit against the Walt Disney Company.

Cinderella Castle

In the original suit, the Board alleged that Disney had a “fiefdom” under the old Reedy Creek setup where it “wrote the laws that governed itself, chose whether and how to enforce those laws against itself, and set its own tax rate.” Since then, Disney filed a countersuit, and arguments were heard, but the judge failed to make a decision. Now, we have an idea as to what happens next.

Recent case documents in the lawsuit filed by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD) against the Walt Disney Company indicate the DeSantis-appointed Board admitted it has not searched for documents requested by Disney.

©Central Florida Tourism Oversight District

Not only that, but District Administrator Glen Gilzean has retained his own counsel — separate from the Board’s attorneys — and because of this, he has not been deposed yet. His deposition was scheduled, but the court was advised the day before the appointment about his change in lawyers and it has not been rescheduled as of press.

©Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board | Glen Gilzean

Court documents state that Gilzean “is an important witness” due to his role and that Disney is prejudiced by not having the opportunity to depose him before the Company’s summary judgment opposition is due.

The CFTOD has allegedly only produced 25 custodial documents regarding Gilzean and acknowledged it has not searched for nor produced the documents requested from his personal phone or email.

Reedy Creek Improvement District

The documents state, “WDPR (Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Inc.) has long suspected that the District has not been searching for or collecting documents from the personal email accounts or mobile devices of any custodian, including for the District Administrator, board members, or other key employees—despite WDPR’s discovery requests expressly contemplating their inclusion. See 1/22/24 Mot. to Cont. at 10–11. At the January 23 hearing on WDPR’s Motion to Compel, the District finally admitted it has not even begun searching for or collecting these documents. Nor did the District agree to start this process, instead suggesting the parties further meet and confer on the issue.”

Disney World

A six-month delay has been requested so this can be resolved before the summary judgment hearing. The CFTOD also filed a Notice of Supplemental Authority claiming that the judge’s ruling in the federal lawsuit shows “the irrelevance of Disney’s allegations of retaliation.”


It’s important to note that Disney has filed another suit against the CFTOD in Florida state court, claiming the District has failed to fully respond to a public record request the company submitted to the government agency on May 11th.

It also accuses CFTOD of allowing District employees and board members to use personal electronic devices, email, and messaging accounts for government business without sufficient processes to ensure public records are preserved.


Disney states as many as 50 employees have departed CFTOD since the new board was appointed by DeSantis in February, and the remaining employees are “exhausted” and lack confidence in the new administration. The lawsuit claims, “On the public records front, this has led to delays, inadequate preservation, storage and production of public records, and improper and unsupported claims of privilege and exemption from disclosure, in violation of the Florida Constitution and (Florida’s Public Record Act).”

Spaceship Earth

According to the complaint, the CFTOD relies on board members and employees to “self-select text messages or emails responsive to public record requests on their own, without technical instruction from the District or any effort to verify compliance.” The lawsuit also goes on to say that CFTOD failed to preserve data from the personal devices of departing employees.

Reedy Creek Fire Marshal Sign in Disney World

We’ll continue to keep an eye out for the latest updates in this case and the other lawsuits Disney is involved in, so stay tuned to AllEars for more.

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What do you think will happen in the state case? Tell us in the comments.

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One Reply to “NEWS: DeSantis’ Reedy Creek Board Admits It Failed To Search for Documents in Disney Lawsuit”

  1. Allegations are just that. However, if the court finds in favor of Disney in this matter, it will be interesting to watch how quickly CFTOD complies.

    Disney and CFTOD being uncooperative towards each other is not surprising.

    However, if CFTOD is not following the direction of the courts, that is another master.