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    HomePoliticsBridget Ziegler attends first Disney meeting after GOP sex scandal

    Bridget Ziegler attends first Disney meeting after GOP sex scandal

    LAKE BUENA VISTA — Bridget Ziegler attended her first meeting Wednesday of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Disney World oversight board in person since a sex scandal involving her and her husband made national headlines, costing him his job as Florida’s GOP chairperson.

    Asked after the meeting about speculation she would resign from the Disney board, Ziegler said, “I’m here.”

    Ziegler, a Sarasota resident, is one of five Republicans DeSantis named to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District’s Board of Supervisors in February as part of his feud with Disney. A co-founder of the conservative education group Moms for Liberty, she also serves on the Sarasota County School Board.

    Ziegler’s husband, Christian Ziegler, was ousted earlier this month as chairperson of the Florida Republican Party amid a police investigation into rape allegations.

    Sarasota police have since cleared Ziegler of rape, concluding that a cellphone video showed the Oct. 2 sexual encounter was “likely consensual.” But police recommended prosecutors charge Ziegler with illegally video recording the sexual encounter with his accuser. The woman told police Ziegler recorded her without her knowledge.

    Ziegler has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged criminally.

    During the investigation, Bridget Ziegler told police she had a one-time, three-way sexual encounter with her husband and the woman accusing him of rape about a year ago, an affidavit revealed.

    Bridget Ziegler has faced calls to resign from both the Disney and school boards.

    She called into the Disney board’s Dec. 6 meeting, attending virtually instead of in person. Debie McDonald, a public speaker at that meeting, accused Ziegler of hypocrisy and called on her to step down, saying she has played a role in “demonizing members of the LGBTQ community … while she has apparently been a part of the letter B in that group.”

    Ziegler championed the Parental Rights in Education bill, which limits classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity. That 2022 law critics call Don’t Say Gay sparked DeSantis’ dispute with Disney after the corporation vowed to get it repealed.

    Ziegler’s term on the board runs through February 2025. The position is unpaid, but board members are eligible to recoup travel expenses.

    In May, another board member, Michael Sasso, resigned just a few months after being appointed to the board. His resignation came shortly before DeSantis named his wife, Meredith Sasso, to the Florida Supreme Court. He was replaced with Charbel Barakat, a Tampa lawyer.

    ©2024 Orlando Sentinel. Visit at orlandosentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency LLC.

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