The mayor of Clay town, in the US State of West Virginia has stepped down after a post-election racist comments made about Michelle Obama.
The post which has since gone viral and created outrage allegedly caught the mayor and another county official, Pamela Taylor comparing the first lady to an “ape in heels.”
Taylor, who worked as director of the Clay County Development Corporation reportedly wrote on Facebook: “It will be so refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady back in the White House. I’m tired of seeing a (sic) Ape in heels.”
Mayor Beverly Whaling had appeared to applaud the Facebook post, which has since being taken down.
“Just made my day Pam,” she commented.
The post was shared hundreds of times on social media before it was apparently deleted.
A petition calling for the mayor’s resignation had gathered over 170,000 signatures.
Clay town recorder, Joe Coleman, confirmed to the Associated Press that her resignation was effective immediately.
However, it is still unclear if Taylor was terminated or resigned her post. It was later gathered that she has been put on leave.
Whaling has since apologized, saying her comment was not meant as racist.
She said: “I was referring to my day being made for change in the White House! I am truly sorry for any hard feeling this may have caused! Those who know me know that I’m not in any way racist!”
The town of Clay, which has a population of just 491, has no African American residents, according to the 2010 census. In Clay County as a whole, more than 98% of its 9,000 residents are white.