Former West Virginia Official Who Called Michelle Obama an ‘Ape in Heels’ Headed to Prison for FEMA Fraud

Pamela Taylor, a former Clay County Development Corp. director who became known for her racist insult against former First Lady Michelle Obama, is going to jail.

“Pamela Taylor, 57, was sentenced to 10 months in prison, two months of home confinement, and a $10,000 fine for making multiple false statements to FEMA and causing the agency to provide her with over $18,000 in fraudulent, undeserved benefits,” the office of U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart of the Southern District of West Virginia said, in a press release on Thursday.

“Taylor admitted that she falsely registered for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster benefits after the June 2016 flood in Clay County, West Virginia. Taylor claimed that her primary residence was damaged by the flood and that she was staying in a rental unit after the flood. In fact, her primary residence was undamaged, and she still resided there. Due to her false statements, she received more than $18,000 in FEMA benefits to which she was not entitled.”

The flooding killed 23 people in West Virginia in June 2016.

The same year she was committing fraud, the presidential election took place. Taylor posted on Facebook referencing Melania Trump’s impending tenure at the White House: “It will be so refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady back in the White House. I’m tired of seeing an Ape in heels.”

In West Virginia, 68.7 percent of the population voted for Trump on Election Day. Clay County showed even more support for Trump, with more than three-quarters of residents voting for him. Clay County is nearly 100 percent white, according to U.S. Census Data, and just 0.2 percent Black.

Taylor was suspended from her job after the posting went viral in 2016, but the corporation later announced that she would be returning to her position.

“There’s no such thing as a little bit of FEMA fraud,” Stuart said. “Taylor’s fraudulent scheme took FEMA dollars away from those who needed it the most. Federal disaster benefits are critical to rebuilding infrastructure, homes, and lives – not for lining the pockets of individuals who suffered no loss.”

Taylor has already paid $18,149.04 in restitution.

Latest News

Boeing building

Boeing Global Services CEO Ted Colbert Named Black Engineer of the Year by ‘US Black Engineer & Information Technology’ Magazine

Originally published at Boeing Company ranked No. 17 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   Ted Colbert, president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, has been named Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) for 2022 by U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine. The…

map of Iowa

Black Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn Threatened With Lynching After Penning Anti-Trump Op-Ed

An Iowa Democrat has been threatened with violence simply for writing an opinion piece critical of the former president. Brianne Pfannenstiel of the Des Moines Register has reported that “Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn received multiple threats, including one of lynching, after he penned an opinion piece critical of…

Facebook logo

Facebook Forced To Pay a Record $14-Million Settlement for Discriminating Against US Workers

October continues to be a month Facebook likely wishes it could forget. First came Frances Haugen, the whistleblower who explained in chilling detail how the site and its algorithms are designed to profit off what she called “the spread and amplification of hate, misinformation and political unrest.” Then there was…