Local news outlet the Orlando Sentinal has reported that after only a few months of appointment, Michael Sasso has resigned from the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board of Supervisors. As one of five members of the board appointed by Governor Ron DeSantis to oversee the special district that houses Walt Disney World, Sasso announced his resignation late last week without giving any further information on what provoked the move. The board is at the center of a string of controversies that have unfolded between Disney and Governor DeSantis, which recently took a legal turn when both parties filed lawsuits.
Governor DeSantis recently elevated Michael Sasso’s wife, Meredith Sasso, to the Florida Supreme Court from her position as chief judge of the Sixth District Circuit Court of Appeal, and some publications are claiming these two moves might be related.
With Disney and DeSantis trading ever-escalating lawsuits, Michael Sasso’s departure could potentially resolve any requirement for Justice Sasso to recuse herself if a related case presented itself to the Florida Supreme Court. The Florida Bulldog wrote: “Jennifer LaVia, a Tallahassee family lawyer and former professor at Florida State University College of Law, had said Sasso’s only possible course of action would be recusal, citing a rule of judicial conduct that says a judge “shall” disqualify herself in a case where the judge’s impartiality “might reasonably be questioned,” such as when the judge’s spouse is an officer or director of a party.“
Most recently, DeSantis filed a motion to disqualify Judge Mark E. Walker, who is overseeing Disney’s Federal Court First Amendment case in which it is suing DeSantis and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board Members. No comments have been made on who will be appointed as Sasso’s board replacement though the position may be difficult to fill given the current state of affairs with Disney’s legal action.
DeSantis officially announced entering the 2024 Republican White House race last Wednesday.
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.