It'll cost DeSantis' handpicked board at least $1,300 per hour to hire a team of lawyers to investigate how Disney outmaneuvered them

  • DeSantis' board will pay hourly legal fees to investigate Disney's loophole in the governor's plan.

  • DeSantis had previously planned to take over the company's governing rights over Disney World.

  • A prior agreement invoked by Disney renders the new board's power essentially obsolete.

It's going to cost Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his handpicked board nearly $1,300 per hour in legal fees to investigate how Disney found a loophole in the governor's plan to take over the company's governing rights over Disney World, stripping the new government-appointed board members of their power.

An agenda from the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District's Wednesday meeting includes letters from two law firms agreeing to represent DeSantis in his fight against the entertainment giant.

The firms, Cooper & Kirk and Lawson, "will represent the District regarding certain constitutional and contract matters and potential legal challenges," according to the agenda.

Cooper & Kirk will bill the Florida government $795 per hour and Lawson bills at $495 per hour, meaning, in total, DeSantis' government will owe both firms at least $1,290 per hour for their services.

Each firm tacks on additional hundreds of dollars for any work done by legal assistants and paralegals.

A prior obscure agreement invoked by Disney in the feud between DeSantis and the company renders the new board's power essentially obsolete because of a property law known as the Rule Against Perpetuities.

It states that the expiration date of that agreement is set for "twenty one (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."

"This essentially makes Disney the government," Ron Peri, a member of the board, said during a meeting on Wednesday.  "This board loses, for practical purposes, the majority of its ability to do anything beyond maintain the roads and maintain basic infrastructure."

DeSantis has been attempting to squash Disney's authority to operate its theme park and resort under a special district between two Florida counties.

Disney previously was able to appoint its own board to oversee the area and make decisions about the county's development processes, but the company's special status was threatened when it fought back against DeSantis' highly contested "Don't Say Gay" bill.

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