A 66-year-old Iowa state official was asked to resign last month, days after he sent an agency-wide email to 4,300 employees highlighting lyrics from rap legend Tupac Shakur.
The Iowa Department of Human Services Director Jerry Foxhoven, was reportedly “asked” by Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds to submit his resignation on June 17, the Monday after he sent a Friday mass email in which he invoked the late rapper’s name, song lyrics, and likeness.
According to Fox News, in the email, which featured a large image of a smiling Shakur, Foxhoven asked employees to mark the “Keep Your Head Up” rapper’s birthday that weekend by listening to one of his songs. He also noted the occasion of his two-year anniversary as director and thanked the staff for their hard work.
When he returned to work that following Monday, he was formally asked to resign. But a spokesman for the governor wouldn’t confirm or deny the reports that Foxhoven’s email blast was the impetus for Reynolds’ resignation request.
“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,” spokesman Pat Garrett told The Associated Press.
Foxhoven’s email celebrating his anniversary as director was not the only time he invoked Tupac to co-workers. Turns out he regularly showcased his Shakur fandom during his tenure.
At least 350 pages of emails obtained by The Associated Press revealed Foxhoven hosted weekly “Tupac Fridays” during which he would play the iconic lyricists tunes in the office. He’d sent emails for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and the anniversary of the rappers death using Tupac’s lyrics as well.
He frequently discussed song lyrics with employees and even marked his 65th birthday with Shakur-themed cookies — including ones decorated with the words “Thug Life.”
However, Foxhoven told The Associated Press he doesn’t believe his departure was a result of the Shakur email, despite reportedly not receiving a reason for why he was asked to exit.