A West Virginia mayor who faced backlash after posting a controversial comment about Michelle Obama on Facebook has resigned.
Clay County Mayor Beverly Whaling came under fire after she appeared to agree with a racist comment posted about the first lady on social media.
“It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House,” wrote Clay County Development Corporation director Pamela Ramsey Taylor after Election Day. “I’m tired of seeing a Ape in heels.”
Whaling liked Taylor’s Facebook post and commented, “Just made my day Pam.” The post was first reported by WSAZ-TV and was shared hundreds of times before it was deleted.
On Tuesday, Whaling submitted a letter announcing her resignation, which she said would be “effective immediately,” ABC affiliate WCHS in Charleston, West Virginia, reported. She also issued an apology to the media, saying her comment was not meant to be racist.
“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!” she wrote.
Whaling’s resignation came before a previously scheduled Tuesday meeting where the town council was expected to discuss the issue. Taylor told WCHS Monday night that she had been put on leave.
ABC News could not reach Whaling’s or Taylor’s offices for comment.
A petition on the website Care2 calling for Whaling’s and Taylor’s resignations has garnered more than 154,000 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,” the petition reads. “They both need to go. This type of public discourse is completely unacceptable.”