An Orange County GOP official who sent email depicting President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee was censured Wednesday by the local party's executive committee.
The 12-2 vote to censure 74-year-old Marilyn Davenport, an elected member of the governing Central Committee, is the highest form of disapproval the county GOP could take under its bylaws, Orange County GOP Chairman Scott Baugh said.
Baugh said that under state law, members can only be removed from a party position if they move to another jurisdiction, repeatedly fail to show up to meetings or support members of another party.
"You can't remove her from the committee, so that's the limit of what we can do," Baugh told KCAL-TV.
A call to Davenport's home was not immediately returned.
The committee's action comes after Davenport forwarded an email to friends last month with a photo depicting Obama's face superimposed over a baby chimp's. The text under the image reads, "Now you know why _ No birth certificate!"
Davenport, who is serving her fourth two-year term, has said that she had no racist intentions when she sent the email. She has refused to resign despite calls from Baugh and others within her party to step down. Baugh has said that a recall was unfeasible because of the expense.
Deborah Pauly, who voted against the censure, told the Orange County Register she couldn't immediately comment because she had not read a final statement on the censure.