Tomblin: Clay Development Corp. Contracts Under Review in Wake of Racist Comment

Michelle Obama

News that 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 has caused swift reaction from the governor’s office.

Clay County Development director Pamela Ramsey Taylor made the post following Donald Trump’s election, calling Mrs. Obama an “Ape in heels.”

She was on suspension but will report back to work on December 23. 

A statement from Governor Tomblin’s office says the State of West Virginia vehemently opposes any discriminatory and harassing sentiments, language or actions. Two state agencies – the Bureau for Medical Services at the Department of Health and Human Resources and the Bureau of Senior Services – have contracts with the Clay Development Corporation and that as a result of the comments made by Taylor, those contracts will be reviewed.  The nonprofit provides services to elderly and low-income residents in Clay County. It is funded through state and federal grants and local fees.

The governor’s office has also asked the board of directors of the center for copies of the Corporation’s affirmative action plan and anti-discrimination policies and practices and how employees have been trained on these policies.