County Worker Loses Job, Mayor Resigns, After Calling Michelle Obama 'an Ape in Heels' on Facebook

The former county worker says she has received death threats since the Facebook post.

A West Virginia county employee has been removed her post after calling First Lady Michelle Obama "an ape in heels.”

Pamela Ramsey Taylor, director of the Clay Development Corp., was fired 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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Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling responded to the post, "Just made my day, Pam." On Tuesday afternoon, she resigned.

"I, Beverly Whaling, will be resigning as mayor of the town of Clay, effective immediately," she said in a statement sent to local news outlets, WSAZ-TV reported.

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

Taylor said she has received death threats since the comments came to light.

Reaction on the internet was fast and furious, with an online petition demanding both women be fired. The campaign has received more than 137,000 signatures.

A phone message left at Clay city offices by was not immediately returned.

The controversial posts will be discussed at a town council meeting Tuesday night, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.

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“While we respect Ms. Taylor’s right to free speech, we strongly oppose any form of racism or hate speech,” Joe Murphy, vice chairman of the Clay Democratic Executive Committee, told the paper.

The Clay Development Corp. is a nonprofit agency funded by state and federal monies.

Clay, located in central West Virginia, has a population of about 600.

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