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Head of DeSantis’ Disney Board Resigns From Ethics Commission Amid Ethics Scandal

Glen Gilzean resigns Ethics Commission
Credit Disney/ National Urban League

In February 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis officially dissolved the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The district was run by people appointed by Disney and allowed Disney to self-govern. The dissolution came after a year-long fight between Governor DeSantis and The Walt Disney Company. DeSantis then hand-picked a new board to run the district. It was called the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.

Reedy Creek Improvement District

Credit: Reedy Creek

DeSantis picked the board members relatively quickly, but waited a bit before picking an administrator. In the end, he picked someone he had worked closely with in the past — Glen Gilzean. When he was given the position, Gilzean was serving as the Chairman of Florida’s Commission on Ethics. During his time on the Ethics Commission, he sided with DeSantis when the governor was accused by former President Donald Trump of running a “shadow campaign”.

Glen Gilzean

Credit: Agents of Change

Many thought that the Chairman of the Florida Ethics Commission would be well-versed in matters of ethics. However, that did not seem to be the case when he accepted the CFTOD Administrator position and its $400,000 salary. When he was called out on the ethical violation, he reached out to the general counsel of the ethics commission to see if he was violating the law. He was told that he was, and he must resign from one of those positions.

Glen Gilzean Central Florida Tourism Oversight District

Credit: Facebook

Well, we now know Gilzean’s position. He has officially resigned from Florida’s Ethics Commission.

On August 22, Gilzean released a statement:

“It recently came to my attention that my position as District Administrator of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District may not be compatible with my position as a member and Chairman of the Florida Commission on Ethics. After reviewing the matter with legal counsel, I have decided that prudence dictates that I discontinue serving in one of the two positions. Therefore, I respectfully tender my resignation from the Florida Commission on Ethics, effective immediately.”

Glen Gilzean Ron DeSantis

Credit: Central Florida Urban League

The ethics quandary is not the only trouble Gilzean is dealing with. He recently announced the board would not approve Disney’s Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion program. He went so far as to call it “unAmerican”. Gilzean is being called a hypocrite for his statements, since, just two years ago, he praised Disney for its diversity. That was when he was head of the Central Florida Urban League — an organization that promoted diversity hiring.

Disneyland Paris Cast members

Credit: Disney

Now that he only has the CFTOD to focus on, Gilzean will most likely be spending a fair amount of time-fighting the lawsuit Disney just filed. On August 18, Disney filed a lawsuit, claiming violations of the Florida State Constitution and breach of contract.

Disney claims that, when Walt Disney built Disney World, he entered into a contract with the state that gave his company the rights to govern the area. That was why the Reedy Creek Improvement District was formed in the first place. Disney is also asking the courts to find a new state law unconstitutional. The bill, which was passed by DeSantis and the Republican-led Florida legislature, voids all contracts made between Disney and Reedy Creek.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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