TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Last week, the newly appointed board in charge of the special district that oversees Walt Disney World was stripped of nearly all its powers through an agreement made before the state took control over the district. Now Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says he plans to launch an investigation into potential criminal violations.

On Feb. 27, Gov. DeSantis signed a law stripping the entertainment giant of its control over the special taxing district, the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The law changed the district’s name to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District and gave the governor power to appoint a new Board of Supervisors.

The state’s takeover came months after the governor clashed with Disney executives over the company’s opposition to Florida’s Parental Rights In Education legislation, the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill that later became law.

DeSantis appointed five new members to the board, including a donor, an evangelical minister, and Bridget Ziegler, a Sarasota school board member and co-founder of Moms for Liberty, to oversee operations at Disney’s properties.

During a legal presentation last week, the board was informed by its special counsel that before the state’s takeover, the previous board had approved a series of agreements to transfer nearly all the district’s powers to Disney for the next 30 years.

“I’ve never seen anything like this. The timing, circumstances and terms of the deal show me the intent was to circumvent the enabling act of this district and to bind the hands of this board and future boards,” said special counsel Daniel Langley.

The new board voted last Wednesday to hire two new law firms to help them challenge the agreements.

Chairman Martin Garcia suggested the legal challenge will face an uphill battle and could go before the Supreme Court.

On Monday, DeSantis released a statement saying, “the RCID Board of Supervisors attempted to enter into last-minute development and restrictive covenant agreements with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc., designed to usurp the authority of the CFTOD board.”

“These collusive and self-dealing arrangements aim to nullify the recently passed legislation, undercut Florida’s legislative process, and defy the will of Floridians. In addition, based on initial observations of counsel, the RCID board’s actions appear to suffer from serious legal infirmities, including among other things, inadequate notice, lack of consideration, improper delegation of authority, and ethical violations, such as conflicts of interest and self-dealing,” he added.

DeSantis asked the Chief Inspector General of the State of Florida, along with the consultation of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to launch a thorough review and investigation into the actions of the board supervisors.