DeSantis’ Disney Board Administrator Caught In An Ethical Quandary

Gilzean facing calls to resign from Disney Board
Credit: National Urban League

It seems that Central Florida Tourism Oversight District Administrator Glen Gilzean is facing an ethical dilemma he has created for himself by accepting the position with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s hand-picked board. And now that his conflict has become public, some are calling for him to resign, as Gilzean may have broken state law.

Bob Iger, Glenton Gilzean, Ron DeSantis in front of Cinderella Castle, Disney World

Credit: Disney; National Urban League

Related: National Urban League Blasts Gilzean/DeSantis For Removing DEI From Disney

Governor DeSantis has chosen Gilzean for several board positions, including the $ 400,000-a-year administrator of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District. Gilzean became the administrator in early May, which caused these problems. Gilzean is also the Chairman of the Florida Commission on Ethics. As the commission’s Chairman, Gilzean would be familiar with its bylaws, including the one that states “no member may hold any public employment.”

And that brings us to the issue. As an employee of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, Gilzean holds public employment, thus violating the bylaws of the Florida Commission on Ethics.

Disney Ignores DeSantis Board new ruling

Credit: Disney/ Flickr

Fellow Commissioner Jim Waldman told the Florida Bulldog that Gilzean’s public employment “does appear to be a conflict under the rules of the commission.” The Florida Bulldog was the first to break this story.

Michael Barfield, director of public access initiatives for the Florida Center for Government Accountability, told the Orlando Sentinel: 

The legal requirements are there for a reason, and that is for transparency and to prevent conflicts of interest. You can’t be sitting in a watchdog capacity in the position of the ethics commission and at the same time be … subject to the authority of the ethics commission. That is an inherent conflict of interest.

The Central Florida Urban League formerly employed Administrator Gilzean before Florida Gov Ron DeSantis tapped him for the position on the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. The Urban League of America blasted Gilzean and the CFTOD last week when it announced that it was getting rid of all diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in the District and race-based hiring. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Credit: Gage Skidmore, Flickr

The CFTOD oversees the former Reedy Creek area, which includes Disney World. The CFTOD and the Walt Disney Company are currently involved in two separate lawsuits, one in Florida Court and one in Federal Court.

Gilzean did not respond to requests for comment from the Orlando Sentinel or the Florida Bulldog. Having broken an ethics law, there are calls for him to resign either from the CFTOD or the Ethics Commission.

We will continue to update this story at Disney Fanatic.

About Rick

Rick is an avid Disney fan. He first went to Disney World in 1986 with his parents and has been hooked ever since. Rick is married to another Disney fan and is in the process of turning his two children into fans as well. When he is not creating new Disney adventures, he loves to watch the New York Yankees and hang out with his dog, Buster. In the fall, you will catch him cheering for his beloved NY Giants.

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