Michelle’s ‘ape in heels’ caller fired

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Washington, Dec 29 (IANS) The woman whose controversial “ape in heels” comment about First Lady Michelle Obama invited scathing criticism has been fired from her job, media reports said on Thursday.

The decision to fire Pamela Taylor, who was director of the Clay County Development Corp, came on Tuesday, the Washington Post reported.

The sacking was prompted by Taylor’s November Facebook post, in which she celebrated incoming First Lady Melania Trump, while calling Obama an “ape in heels”.

The small West Virginia town of Clay County was propelled into an embarrassing national spotlight with Taylor’s unsavoury comment.

The move came as officials were keeping a closer watch on the nonprofit, which uses government funds to provide services to elderly and low-income residents, by placing it under a state agency.

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 was 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 Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s office, the Appalachian Area Agency on Aging would manage and oversee the Clay County Development Corp on a daily basis for six months.

In that period, the nonprofit would have the opportunity to make necessary changes to make sure it was following conditions set out by its contract with the state. It also must hire a new director.

–IANS

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