CLAY, W.Va. - The director of a West Virginia nonprofit group who was placed on leave after making a racist comment about first lady Michelle Obama on Facebook plans to return to her job this month.
Clay County Development director Pamela Ramsey Taylor made the post following Republican Donald Trump’s election to president, saying: “It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House. I’m tired of seeing a (sic) Ape in heels.”
The Charleston-Gazette reports a letter from the agency’s acting director Leslie McGlothin to the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services says Taylor is on suspension and scheduled to return to work Dec. 23.
The nonprofit provides services to elderly and low-income residents in Clay County. It is funded through state and federal grants and local fees.
Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling also came under criticism after responding to the post: “Just made my day Pam.”
Whaling said in a statement sent to news media that she was referencing the change in the White House and said she wasn’t racist.
But Whaling later resigned following a backlash about the comment.
The Clay Town Council accepted Whaling’s resignation in a meeting in November.
Council member Jason Hubbard issued a brief statement condemning the “horrible and indecent” post and said racism and intolerance “isn’t what this community is about.” He apologized on behalf of the town to Michelle Obama and anyone who was offended.
“This community is a helpful, hopeful, empathetic and God-loving community,” Hubbard said. “Please don’t judge the entire community for one or two individual acts.”
African-Americans make up about 4 percent of West Virginia’s 1.8 million residents, according to the U.S. Census.
About 77 percent of Clay County residents supported Trump in the Nov. 8 election. In 2012, President Barack Obama received 31 percent of the county vote when Republican Mitt Romney easily carried the state.