The West Virginia nonprofit director who referred to Michelle Obama as an “ape in heels” in a November Facebook message has lost her job after a weeks-long suspension and announced Dec. 23 return to the position, reports The Washington Post.
Officials’ termination of Pamela Ramsey Taylor, who led the Clay County Development Corp., coincided with a state agency decision to take control of the nonprofit, which provides services to the elderly and low-income residents, writes the news outlet:
The [state agency] move was prompted by Taylor’s November Facebook post, in which she celebrated incoming first lady Melania Trump, while calling Obama an “ape in heels.” Robert Roswall, commissioner for the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services, told The Washington Post that the controversy exposed loopholes in how the nonprofit was being run.
The Clay County Development Corp., for instance, is required by contract with the state to have open meetings, to respond to public records requests and to have nondiscrimination policies. The fact that those rules weren’t being followed became apparent after the public outrage over Taylor’s comments.“We started getting lots of reports about different things that we were checking,” Roswall said. “There was little things popping up all over.”
State officials said they had two options: They could either withdraw government funding or take over the agency. Roswall said they chose the latter. According to a statement released Tuesday by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin’s office, the Appalachian Area Agency on Aging will manage and oversee the Clay County Development Corp. on a daily basis for six months.
The state requested specific assurances about Clay County Development Corp. officials following anti-discrimination policies, reports The Huffington Post.