An official in West Virginia lost her job on Monday after posting a racist Facebook message in which she referred to First Lady Michelle Obama as an “ape in heels,” PEOPLE can confirm.
Pamela Ramsey Taylor is no longer employed at the Clay County Development Corporation, a spokesperson for the company told PEOPLE on Tuesday. She previously worked as the director of the non-profit organization, which receives state and federal funds, WSAZ- TV reports.
Taylor reportedly published her message after Donald Trump‘s presidential election victory, writing, “It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House. I’m tired of seeing a (sic) ape in heels.”
Clay Mayor Beverly Whaling responded to the post, WSAZ-TV reported — saying, “Just made my day Pam.”
Neither the post nor the Facebook pages for Taylor and Whaling could be found on Tuesday. The original post was shared hundreds of times on social media before it was removed, the Associated Press reported.
An online petition calling for the terminations of both women had more than 106,000 signatures. “Every grant and piece of paper Mrs. Taylor and Ms. Whaling have to fill out and sign promises equal opportunities and a racism free workplace,” it says.
WSAZ-TV reported Taylor’s post was replaced with an apology before her account was deleted. She told the news station she also received threats of violence since the posting — claiming that while she’s sorry for everything that has happened, she now believes the situation has turned into a “hate crime against me.”
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Whaling did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment, but she issued a statement defending herself to The Washington Post.
“My comment was not intended to be racist at all,” Whaling 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 of any way racist!”
“Again, I would like to apologize for this getting out of hand!” she continued.
U.S. Census reports say African-Americans make up about 4 percent of West Virginia’s 1.8 million residents.