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First lady Michelle Obama speaks after the screening for the movie 'Hidden Figures,' Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016, in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The nonprofit director who called Michelle Obama an 'ape in heels' was fired


The director of a West Virginia nonprofit was fired for good more than a month after she wrote a Facebook post that referred to First Lady Michelle Obama as an "ape in heels." 

At the time of her post, Pamela Ramsey Taylor was serving as the executive director of the Clay County Development Corp., which uses government funds to provide services to low-income residents and the elderly. 

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office said Taylor was removed following an agreement with the nonprofit's board of directors.

Taylor's dismissal was prompted by a November Facebook post in which she said it would be refreshing to have a "classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House," referring to incoming first lady Melania Trump. 

She then worte, "I'm tired of seeing an ape in heels," referring to Michelle Obama. 

Former Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling resigned from her post after commenting on Taylor's Facebook post, saying, "Just made my day Pam."

Whaling issued an apology shortly after. 

"I was referring to my day being made for change in the White House," Whaling said. "I am truly sorry for any hard feeling this may have caused!"

But Taylor was initially placed on a six-week leave, which was scheduled to end last Friday. 

Meanwhile, a petition calling for Taylor's firing received more than 200,000 signatures.

West Virginia's commissioner of the Bureau of Senior Services, Robert Roswall, said Clay County Development Corp. could lose state and federal funding if the state found proof that the nonprofit hadn't followed anti-discrimination policies. 

The Appalachian Area Agency on Aging will manage the nonprofit for six months while the organization makes any needed changes to continue operating as a state contractor. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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