West Virginia official who called Michelle Obama ‘ape in heels’ fired

The director of a West Virginia nonprofit agency who called first lady Michelle Obama “an ape in heels” in a Facebook post has been fired and the institution put under outside management, state officials said on Tuesday.

Pamela Taylor, director of the Clay County Development Corp (CCDC), which provides services to poor and elderly residents, drew international condemnation after her comment last month about Obama went viral.

She resigned in November but was reinstated last month, prompting West Virginia to review its contracts with the nonprofit.

Democratic Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s office said the state had secured an agreement under which the Appalachian Area Agency on Aging will manage the CCDC for six months.

an-ape-in-heels_small West Virginia official who called Michelle Obama 'ape in heels' fired Freedom

“Following the state’s request for specific assurances that the CCDC is following anti-discrimination policies, we have been assured that Pamela Taylor has been removed from her position as CCDC director,” Tomblin’s office said in a statement.

Taylor could not be reached for comment.

The nonprofit in Clay, West Virginia, a small town about 20 miles (32 km) northeast of Charleston, the state capital, receives state and federal funding.

After the Nov. 8 election, Taylor went on Facebook to praise the switch from Obama to former model Melania Trump, the wife of President-elect Donald Trump, a Republican.

“It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified first lady back in the White House. I’m tired of seeing an ape in heels,” she wrote.

Beverly Whaling, Clay’s mayor, resigned after coming under fire for replying to Taylor’s comment: “Just made my day Pam.”

The Charleston Gazette-Mail has reported that the nonprofit received about $1.5 million in federal funding and $363,000 in state funding in 2014.

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