West Virginia Official Back on the Job After Racist Post About Michelle Obama

The director of a West Virginia nonprofit who was put on leave for referring to first lady Michelle Obama as "an ape in heels" will be back at work next week.
by | December 13, 2016 AT 12:00 PM

By Teresa Welsh

The director of a West Virginia nonprofit who was put on leave for referring to first lady Michelle Obama as "an ape in heels" will be back at work next week.

Pamela Ramsey Taylor, director of the Clay County Development Corp., will return to her position Dec. 23. She was originally suspended for racist comments on Facebook she posted after Republican Donald Trump won the presidential election.

"It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House. I'm tired of seeing an ape in heels," Taylor wrote in the post that she later deleted but was preserved in screenshots.

The Clay County Development Corp. is not a government agency but does receive state and federal funding for its work providing services to low-income and elderly residents of Clay County in West Virginia. The organization confirmed Nov. 15 that Taylor had "been removed from her position," but did not say whether she would be fired.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that according to a letter from the agency's acting director, Taylor will be back at work next week.

The mayor of the nearby town of Clay, Beverly Whaling, also came under fire for responding to the Facebook post with a comment that said "Just made my day Pam." She resigned Nov. 15 after an online petition called for the resignation of both women got almost 200,000 signatures, but Whaling insists her comments were not racist.

"My comment was not intended to be racist at all. I was referring to my day being made for change in the White House!" Whaling said in a statement to The Washington Post. "I am truly sorry for any hard feeling this may have caused! Those who know me know that I'm not of any way racist!"

Taylor vowed to sue people who had "slandered her" following the incident, claiming the response had become a "hate crime against me."

(c)2016 McClatchy Washington Bureau