NewsNational News


Woman fired for calling Michelle Obama an 'ape in heels' will continue working next week

Posted at 5:25 PM, Dec 13, 2016

(CNN) -- A West Virginia county employee who was suspended after posting racist remarks about first lady Michelle Obama will soon be back at her job.

Pamela Ramsey Taylor, director of the Clay County Development Corporation, is scheduled to return to work December 23 after being suspended from her job for six weeks, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Taylor caused a nationwide uproar last month with her ugly comments on Facebook.

"It will be so refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady back in the White House. I'm tired of seeing a (sic) Ape in heels," Taylor said, according to a screengrab obtained by CNN affiliate WSAZ.

The post cost Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling her job. She resigned November 16 after she commented on Taylor's original post, saying: "Just made my day Pam," according to a screengrab. Both posts were deleted, but not before they were shared hundreds of times.

Taylor and Whaling both apologized publicly after the incident. An online petition calling for Taylor to lose her job gained more than 200,000 supporters.

Taylor told CNN affiliate WSAZ that the situation had become a "hate crime" and that she and her children had received death threats.

Now, Taylor will apparently be back at her old job before Christmas, according to the Gazette-Mail, citing a letter from the agency's acting director, Leslie McGlothin, to the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services.

McGlothin did not respond to multiple phone calls from CNN.

But an employee of the Clay County Development Corporation, who did not want to be named, confirmed that Taylor would be returning to her job.

"She was not terminated ... the board put her off work for six weeks, and she will be back next week," the woman told CNN.

The Governor's office said the state is reviewing its contract with the Clay County group.

"The State of West Virginia vehemently opposes any discriminatory and harassing sentiments, language or actions," the office of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat, said in a statement.

Because of Taylor's comments, "we have been and continue to review those contracts to determine any alternatives the state might have," it said.

The nonprofit Clay County Development Corp. offers services to seniors and low-income residents and is funded through state and federal grants and local fees. It is not affiliated with the town of Clay.

Taylor became the CCDC's director in 2007, the Gazette-Mail reported. She was paid almost $83,000 in 2014, according to tax returns from the group cited by the paper.