West Virginia Nonprofit Director to Return to Work After Calling Michelle Obama 'Ape in Heels'

A West Virginia nonprofit director, who was suspended from her job after calling Michelle Obama an "ape in heels," will return to work later this month.

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Complex Original

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Last month, two West Virginia officials were widely criticized for their racist remarks about First Lady Michelle Obama. "It will be so refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady back in the White House. I'm tired of seeing a Ape in heels," wrote Pamela Ramsey Taylor, who, at the time, was the director of the Clay County Development Corp., a private nonprofit organization. Beverly Whaling, the mayor of Clay, liked the post and commented, "Just made my day Pam." Because of the comments, Taylor was "removed" from her position, and the mayor resigned after the backlash. Now though, Taylor—who was suspended rather than fired—plans to return to her job later this month.

After her Facebook post made national headlines, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Pamela Ramsey Taylor was initially suspended from her position as director of the Clay County Development Corp. The private nonprofit organization, which is the county's second-largest employer, offers senior services and financial assistance to low-income and elderly residents of the county. 

When Taylor's post first made national news, West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services commissioner Robert Roswall warned the organization that "any discrimination of staff or the customers [they] serve" could result in the organization losing government funding. In 2014, the Clay County Development Corp. got $363,000 in state funding and around $1.5 million in federal funding.

On Friday, Dec. 23, Taylor will be back in her position as the Clay County Development Corp.'s director, according to a letter from the organization's acting director Leslie McGlothin to the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reports.

When the post first made headlines, Taylor apologized for the comments but told WSAZ that the situation became a "hate crime against me," after she and her children received death threats.

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