DeSantis appointee Michael Sasso resigns from Disney district board

Sasso’s wife was elevated Tuesday to Florida Supreme Court

Michael Sasso (seated, second from right) as pictured in March, 2023, while vice chair of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board. (WKMG News 6)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Michael Sasso has resigned from his position as vice chair of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board, WKMG in Orlando confirmed Saturday.

Sasso has not yet publicly said why he backed out of the role mere months into a term that was to last until late February 2027.

Sasso, managing partner of the Sasso & Sasso law firm in Winter Park, also serves on the Sixth District Court of Appeal Judicial Nominating Commission, the Public Employees Relations Commission and as a trustee of Valencia State College, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ press office.

DeSantis on Tuesday appointed Meridith Sasso, Michael Sasso’s wife and chief judge at the Florida Sixth District Court of Appeal in Lakeland, to the Florida Supreme Court. There has been no connection made between this and Michael Sasso’s resignation from the CFTOD board.

DeSantis nominated Sasso and four others to their spots on the CFTOD board in February, taking another significant step in his planned reformation of Walt Disney World’s special governing district as the state’s reaction became more realized, in part, for Disney’s criticism of Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education” law.

Now at the fight’s forefront are lawsuits from Disney against DeSantis’ side and vice versa, with Disney’s federal lawsuit alleging a campaign of retaliation and Constitutional rights violations while the CFTOD board’s lawsuit in state court claims Disney performed “a backroom deal” in its last-minute agreement with the now defunct Reedy Creek District board to transfer decades of district control to the company ahead of the switch.

News 6 has reached out to the governor’s office for comment.

About the Author:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.