already involved two lawsuits On Monday, members of the Walt Disney World management district board appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis joined Disney in fighting the company on a new front — free passes and discounts for district employees.

Members of the board of directors of the Central Florida Tourism Regulatory District filed a complaint with the state inspector general alleging that they stood by Disney’s predecessors for providing the district with millions of dollars in season tickets and discounts on hotels, merchandise, food and beverage employees equivalent to Unethical benefits and perks.

Last year alone, before a DeSantis appointee took over the board, which is still controlled by Disney supporters, provided about $2.5 million in discounts and passes to school district employees and their families, the board said in a release.

The press release said the arrangement was self-serving for the company because it funneled money back to Disney at the expense of the school district.

Disney did not respond to an email seeking comment. A spokesman for the committee did not respond to a request to send the letter to the inspector general, which investigates fraud, mismanagement, waste and abuse of power.

Richard Foglesong, a professor emeritus at Rollins College, said the arrangement appeared to be more of an employee benefit than a taxpayer scam, akin to college professors getting free passes to sporting events or Free tuition for family members. In his book Marrying a Mouse: Walt Disney World and Orlando, he provides an explicit account of the governance of Disney World.

The complaints from DeSantis appointees come as the district executives they appointed last May also face an ethical dilemma. Glen Gilzean, who is making $400,000 a year in his new job, is also chairman of the Florida ethics committee.A committee lawyer said last week that he cannot also serve on the committee’s board and work for the district because the committee prohibits public officials from serving on its board in legal opinion.

The battle between DeSantis and Disney began last year with the company’s challenges Enormous pressure Internally and externally, speak out against state laws prohibiting classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in lower grades.

as punishment, DeSantis took over the district Legislation passed by the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature and appointed a new board of supervisors to oversee municipal services at the sprawling theme park and hotel. But the new supervisor’s powers over design and construction are limited by the company’s agreements with Disney to support the predecessor, which were signed before the new board took over.

In response, Florida lawmakers passed legislation to repeal the agreements.

Disney has sued DeSantis in federal court, claiming the governor violated the company’s free speech rights. The school district has sued Disney in state court, seeking to annul the agreements.


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