Iowa state official fired after sending more than 350 Tupac-inspired emails to co-workers
Jerry Foxhoven is apparently a pretty big Tupac fan.
The 66-year-old, who formerly served as the director of the Iowa Department of Human Services, was asked to resign last month after he sent more than 350 emails containing the rapper's lyrics to co-workers during a two-year span.
Foxhoven told colleagues he had been a fan of the late hip-hop artist for several years and took many steps to make that fandom known, according to the Associated Press.
Examples included weekly "Tupac Fridays," during which Foxhoven would play various Tupac songs in the office, and a birthday celebration featuring cookies decorated with the words "Thug Life."
Foxhoven's emails, which were sometimes sent to thousands of employees at a time, featured lyrics and encouraged co-workers to listen to the rapper's music. On Valentine's Day, Foxhoven emailed co-workers a set of lines from Tupac's song "Dear Mama" that read, “There's no way I could pay you back but my plan is to show you that I understand, you are appreciated.”
On June 14, Foxhoven sent an email to all 4,300 of his agency's employees suggesting that they celebrate Tupac's birthday by listening to one of his songs. He was asked to resign the following workday.
Despite the timing, it's unclear whether Foxhoven's ousting was a direct result of his Tupac obsession.
“As the governor has said, a lot of factors contributed to the resignation of Jerry Foxhoven and now Gov. Reynolds is looking forward to taking DHS in a new direction,” Pat Garrett, a spokesman for Iowa governor Kim Reynolds, told the AP.
Foxhoven told the AP he thought the agency had decided to move forward without him before his June 14 email, however, he noted that he wasn't given a reason for his resignation request.
The 66-year-old had served as the agency's director since 2017. Before that, he worked as a law professor at Drake University.