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West Virginia Official Gets Her Job Back After Calling Michelle Obama an 'Ape In Heels'

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A county official in West Virginia, who was suspended for making racist remarks about Michelle Obama that drew nationwide outrage, will be getting that job back.

Pamela Ramsey Taylor, director of the Clay County Development Corp., was suspended in November after writing 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."

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While not a government agency, the Clay Development Corp. is a non-profit that runs on state and federal grants. Taylor was suspended for her comment and the town's then-mayor, Beverly Whaling, lost her job for replying that Taylor's post "made my day."

Both women apologized online, saying they did not intend to sound racist. They also both took down their Facebook pages.

In the ensuing weeks, even with a petition of nearly 200,000 calling for her termination, Taylor's job was somehow saved.

In a December 7 letter to the development corporation’s board of directors, the acting commissioner for the West Virginia Bureau for Medical Services, Cynthia Beane, said the bureau had learned Taylor had been reinstated, according to WCHS.

"It has been brought to our attention that Pam Taylor has been reinstated with the Clay Development Corp.," Beane wrote. "In light of recent events surrounding Ms. Taylor that made national media, it is incumbent on both the Bureau of Medical Services and the Bureau of Senior Services to receive specific assurances that no actions of discrimination/harassment will be conducted or viewed as acceptable practices within the work of environment for the Clay County Development Corp.

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"Furthermore, please provide specific guarantees that neither Ms. Taylor, nor any other employee, has in any way conducted themselves in a discriminatory manner with any recipient, or potential recipient receiving state services that your organization administers."

The nonprofit provides services to elderly and low-income residents of rural Clay County. A message left with officials at Clay County Development was not immediately returned.

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