A West Virginia woman who called Michelle Obama an “ape in heels” appears to be the same woman who pleaded guilty to defrauding the Federal Emergency Management Agency out of more than $18,000.
Pamela Taylor admitted last week to illegally registering for FEMA disaster benefits after a catastrophic flood in June 2016 that killed more than 20 people and damaged numerous properties in West Virginia. She said her Clay County home was damaged by the flood and she was forced to live in a rental property, but her home wasn’t damaged and she was still living there, a Homeland Security investigation found.
“The flood was a natural disaster. Stealing from FEMA is a man-made disaster,” U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said in a statement Wednesday.
Taylor could face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
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The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported that Taylor’s name and residences match those of the Pamela Taylor who made headlines for a racist Facebook post against Obama.
After Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, Taylor posted, “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.”
Taylor, a director of the nonprofit Clay County Development, was placed on leave after the post. Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling, who responded to the post by saying, “Just made my day Pam,” resigned amid backlash.
Taylor’s lawyer didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Contributing: The Associated Press.
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