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Iowa Official Forced to Resign After Emailing Tupac Lyrics to More Than 4,000 Employees

Eric Todisco
Iowa Official Forced to Resign After Emailing Tupac Lyrics to More Than 4,000 Employees

An Iowa social services director got a little carried away by his love for late rapper Tupac Shakur.

According to emails obtained by The Associated Press, Iowa Department of Human Services Director Jerry Foxhoven was forced to resign from his position after he sent emails to 4,300 agency employees that contained the late rapper’s lyrics.

Foxhaven, 66, had reportedly been a longtime fan of Shakur, and even hosted a weekly “Tupac Fridays” to play his music in the office. On his 65th birthday, he brought in Tupac-themed cookies, some of which were decorated with the phrase “thug life,” according to the AP.

The leaked emails, which amounted to over 350 pages, also showed that Foxhaven shared one of Tupac’s lyrics about love on Valentine’s Day, and used the rapper’s image to try and “improve the agency’s culture.”

Although Foxhaven’s obsession with the rapper — who was killed in 1996 — became known throughout the office, one employee felt it had gone too far, and complained to a lawmaker last year, the emails show.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds asked Foxhaven to resign on June 17, just one day after he sent a mass email instructing employees to mark Tupac’s birthday over the weekend by listening to one of his songs.

Tupac Shakur | BEI/REX/Shutterstock

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However, a spokesperson for Reynolds did not confirm or deny that Foxhaven’s mass email was the last straw that led to his forced resignation.

“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,” said spokesman Pat Garrett, according to the AP.

Foxhaven had been the director of the Iowa Department of Human Services since 2017, and was assigned to deal with the concerns surrounding the cases of children who died from abuse and neglect. Prior to his work in the agency, he was a Drake University law professor.

According to the AP, text messages that Foxhaven sent indicated he believed that Reynolds’ decision of termination had occurred prior to him sending the mass email. He also said he was never given a reason for his forced resignation, but did not think that his Tupac obsession was the reason why.

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Some of his employees, however, did enjoy the Tupac lyrics in their emails, but did note that it wasn’t received positively by everyone.

“I love your 2pac messages … and the fact that you still send them (despite the haters) makes me appreciate them even more,” one employee wrote, according to the AP.

Reponded Foxhaven: “I agree totally. I am going to hang in there on him — despite all of the naysayers.”