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Ex-W.Va. official who made racist Michelle Obama remark defrauded $18,000 from FEMA: report
A former West Virginia official who lost her job in 2016 after she referred to then-first lady Michelle Obama as an "ape" has captured headlines again after she pleaded guilty to defrauding the Federal Emergency Management Agency out of thousands of dollars intended for flood victims, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reports.
According to the local paper, Pamela Taylor, the former director of the Clay County Development Corp., pleaded guilty earlier this week to taking more than $18,000 in relief benefits from the agency intended to help those whose homes were damaged in the 2016 floods that ravaged regions of the state.
Taylor, 57, wrongfully registered for the benefits and falsely claimed that her home had been damaged by the floods and that she was forced to stay in a rental property, according to the newspaper.
But it was later reportedly discovered that Taylor's primary residence was undamaged by the floods and she was still residing there.
Taylor has since reportedly agreed to pay $18,149.04 in restitution in her plea agreement. The former government employee also reportedly faces up to 30 years in prison, in addition to a maximum fine of $500,000.
Taylor will reportedly be sentenced in May.
The West Virginia woman first captured national attention after she was removed from her position in November 2016 when she said in a Facebook post that "It will be so refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady back in the White House. I'm tired of seeing a Ape in heels."
The post instantly became a source of outrage among the public, with many demanding public apologies and her termination.