West Virginia official loses job over ‘ape in heels’ slur — and her employer agrees to make big changes
A West Virginia county official who insulted Michelle Obama with racist Facebook posts has been removed from her job.
Pamela Taylor, who served as executive director of the Clay County Development Corporation, was relieved of her duties after the state reached an agreement with the nonprofit organization’s board of directors, reported the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
Taylor drew national attention after making a racist comparison between the First Lady and her successor, Melania Trump.
“It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House,” Taylor wrote. “I’m tired of seeing an ape in heels.”
Beverly Whaling resigned as mayor of Clay after praising Taylor’s post, saying it “made my day.”
Taylor was suspended for her comments but was later reinstated — which state officials said put the Clay County Development Corporation’s federal and state funding in jeopardy.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s office issued a statement Tuesday saying that Taylor would be removed and the Appalachian Area Agency on Aging would manage the development corporation for six months.
The statement did not list Taylor’s social media activity.
State officials said the CCDC was not following state nonprofit law regarding open meetings, public record requests and issues related to its board structure.
The Agency on Aging will be allowed to hire and fire staff members and recommend changes to the CCDC’s bylaws, and the agency will also reorganize the department’s board of directors.
The development corporation received about $1.5 million in federal funding and $363,000 in state funding in 2014, according to tax records.