West Va. Official Who Was Fired For Racist Comments About Michelle Obama Now Facing 30 Years in Prison for FEMA Fraud

A former local official from Clay County, West Virginia is facing up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to swindling the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) out of $18,000.

It couldn’t have happened to a better person. If you’re a regular reader of County News, you may remember former Clay County Development Director Pamela Taylor. She was suspended in 2016 for a social media post in which she referred to First Lady Michelle Obama as an “ape in heels.” She was later removed from the job permanently.

According to federal investigators, Taylor falsely claimed her home had been damaged by severe flooding that hit the region in June 2016, resulting in her receipt of more than $18,000 in relief funds. In fact, her home had not been damaged at all and she was never forced to move as she alleged.

“Taylor’s fraud scheme diverted disaster benefits from our most desperate and vulnerable, those most in need of help. We take the solemn responsibility of ensuring FEMA dollars are used responsibly and legally,” said Mike Stuart with the U.S. Attorney’s Office

Taylor has agreed to pay $18,149.04 in restitution and is facing an additional fine of up to $500,000. She is scheduled to be sentenced on May 30.