Pamela Ramsey Taylor, the West Virginia official who referred to first lady Michelle Obama as an "ape in heels" on social media, has been fired as executive director of the Clay County Development Corp.
Taylor, who was scheduled to return to work last week after being placed on six weeks leave, was removed from her post by the nonprofit's board of directors, The Associated Press reported.
Her slur against the first lady wasn't mentioned, but the nonprofit assured the state that anti-discrimination policies are being followed and that Taylor is gone as director, the AP said.
The organization, which serves elderly and low-income residents, will be managed by the Appalachian Area Agency on Aging for six months while it works to comply with requirements to be a state contractor, the AP said.
Taylor's Facebook post sparked a review of the nonprofit's contracts and led to the resignation of Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling, who responded to the post, "Just made my day Pam."
“This was the best opportunity to make things right for people here,” Robert Roswall, the commissioner of the state Bureau of Senior Services, said, according to West Virginia MetroNews Network.
The post, which has been deleted, said, "It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House. I’m tired of seeing a Ape in heels."
Other concerns emerged after the Facebook post controversy, including "lack of response to Freedom of Information Act requests, meetings that should have been open, and the lack of a nondiscrimination policy to guide interactions with minority customers of the agency’s services," MetroNews reported.
“I think that comment opened the door,” Roswall said, according to MetroNews. “That’s normally when other people start telling you other things going on.”
Roswall and Cynthia Beane, acting commissioner for the state’s Bureau of Medical Services, wrote a letter to the nonprofit’s board after Taylor was reinstated asking for reassurances about the organization's anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies and procedures, The Washington Post reported.
Taylor has said she did not intend her Facebook post to be racist.
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