UPDATE: Official suspended after racist Obama post to return to job

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UPDATE 12/12/16 @ 3:25 p.m.
CLAY COUNTY, W.Va. (AP/WSAZ) -- 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 Trump's election, saying: "It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House. I'm tired of seeing a 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.

WSAZ called the Clay Development Center Monday and spoke with workers there who said they hadn't heard Taylor would be back to work.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 11/15/16 @ 9:20 p.m.
CLAY COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Former Clay Mayor Beverly Whaley did not show up Tuesday evening as council members voted to accept her resignation.

Whaley resigned earlier Tuesday after a comment on Facebook, approving a post that compared First Lady Michelle Obama to an ape. It's a story we broke Sunday.

Whaley apologized in a statement sent Monday to The Washington Post, writing: “My comment was not intended to be racist at all. I was referring to my day being made for change in the White House! I am truly sorry for any hard feeling this may have caused! Those who know me know that I’m not of any way racist!"

Despite a Town Hall packed with reporters and a few protesters Monday evening, the meeting itself lasted less than 10 minutes.

Clay Councilman Jason Hubbard said, "I'd like to apologize to anyone who was offended and most certainly the First Lady. I'm sorry that this happened."

He went on to say, "The Town Council would like to condemn the horrible and indecent post that is the center of the controversy. This post is an individual and isolated act. This kind of racial intolerance is not what this community is about."

Earlier Tuesday, The West Virginia Democratic Party released this apology to First Lady Obama:

“On behalf of my fellow Mountaineers I would like extend my sincerest apologies to First Lady Michelle Obama. West Virginia truly is better than this. These radical, hateful, and racist ideals are exactly what we at the West Virginia Democratic Party will continue to fight against. These words and actions do not represent West Virginia values. We will continue to fight for a West Virginia that is inclusive, not divisive and a home for all to feel safe, welcome, and protected. In a time when we are at a crossroads and many fear the future we must stand together against hate of all forms.”



UPDATE 11/15/16 @ 2:35 p.m.
CLAY COUNTY, W. Va. (WSAZ) -- WSAZ has confirmed that Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling has submitted her letter of resignation.

Whaling responded to a controversial Facebook post by a county worker about First Lady Michelle Obama.

The story has gone viral and gained attention from around the country.

The Facebook post from Pamela Taylor said, "It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House. I'm tired of seeing an ape in heels."

Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling responded to the post saying, "Just made my day Pam."

The superintendent of schools in Clay County has cancelled all after school activities. Kenneth Tanner says schools didn't want kids sitting in traffic or in any potential dangerous situations before a meeting Tuesday evening.

Keep checking WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ,com for the latest information.



UPDATE 11/15/16 @ 9:30 a.m.
CLAY COUNTY, W. Va. (WSAZ) -- A Clay County worker has been removed from her position after posting a controversial Facebook status about First Lady Michelle Obama.

Pamela Taylor served as the director of the Clay County Development Corporation, but workers there tell WSAZ Taylor has been removed from her position.

But when asked if she still has a job at Clay County Development Corporation, they said "all we can comment on is that she has been removed from her position."

The Facebook post from Pamela Taylor said "It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House. I'm tired of seeing an ape in heels."

Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling responded to the post saying, "Just made my day Pam."

As a result of the post and the comment, Clay County Sheriff Garrett Samples says threats have been made against the two women and other county workers.



UPDATE 11/14/16 @ 7:21 p.m.
CLAY COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- County officials are feeling the effects after a Facebook post launched an outrage on social media.

The post came from Pamela Taylor, who works as a director at the Clay County Development Corporation following the results of the presidential election. She writes, "It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House. I'm tired of seeing an ape in heels."

Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling responded to the post saying, "Just made my day Pam."

As a result of the post and the comment, Sheriff Garrett Samples says threats have been made against the two women and other county workers.

While the threats have been reported to the sheriff, he tells WSAZ no official reports have been filed with his department and every deputy in the county is aware of the situation.



ORIGINAL STORY 11/14/16 @ 1:05 a.m.
CLAY COUNTY, W.Va (WSAZ) -- Two Clay County women are under intense criticism after a Facebook post launched outrage on social media. Screenshots of the post have been shared thousands of times.

The post came from Pamela Taylor, a woman who works as the director at the Clay County Development Corporation in Clay, a non-profit organization that is funded by state and federal funds.

Following the results of the presidential election, Taylor posted the following on her Facebook page: "It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House. I'm tired of seeing an ape in heels."

Beverly Whaling, the Mayor of Clay, responded to the post saying "Just made my day Pam."

Now there is a petition with nearly 2,000 signatures, as of Sunday night, to have both women fired from their jobs.

Taylor's post has since been deleted and was replaced with an apology. Taylor has edited the apology in an attempt to make it "more direct and clear, and in a hope to make it less inflammatory," she tells WSAZ. She provided WSAZ with both the edited and unedited versions of the apology post. You can find the edited version by clicking on the featured link.

Taylor says she has been reprimanded at her job and is unsure whether she will be able to keep her position. She was also on Clay County's pageant festival committee but tells WSAZ she does not hold any leadership positions in pageantry.

Taylor says she is working with her attorney to file a lawsuit against individual(s) who have slandered her.

She says she is sorry for everything that has happened but says she now believes the situation has turned into a "hate crime against me."

Taylor says both she and her children have received death threats.

WSAZ has made numerous attempts to reach Mayor Whaling for comment, but those attempts have been unsuccessful so far.

Keep checking on WSAZ Mobile and WSAZ.com for the latest information.



 
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