- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

CLAY, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia officials may reconsider contracts with a nonprofit group whose suspended director is scheduled to return to her job after making a racist comment about first lady Michelle Obama on Facebook.

Clay County Development director Pamela Ramsey Taylor was suspended for a post following Donald 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.”

A letter from the agency’s acting director to the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services said Taylor is scheduled to return to work Dec. 23.

According to a statement released Tuesday by a spokeswoman for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, the state’s Bureau for Senior Services and the Bureau for Medical Services are reviewing contracts with the nonprofit to see if the state has any alternatives, media outlets reported.

“As a result of recent comments made by the Corporation’s director, Ms. Pamela Taylor, we have been and continue to review those contracts to determine any alternatives the state might have,” said the statement from spokeswoman Jessica Tice.

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 also announced that the state Bureau for Senior Services and the Bureau for Medical Services sent a letter to the board chair of the nonprofit on Wednesday, requesting copies of affirmative action and anti-harassment plans and policies. The state is asking for “specific guarantees” that Taylor has not discriminated against recipients of state services.

“The state of West Virginia vehemently opposes any discriminatory and harassing sentiments, language or actions,” the governor’s office said.

Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling also came under criticism after responding to the post: “Just made my day Pam.”

Whaling said in a statement sent to news media that she was referencing the change in the White House and said she wasn’t racist.

Whaling later resigned following a backlash about the comment.

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