Iowa’s Department of Human Services, Jerry Foxhoven, was told to resign after emailing a celebratory email centered around his appreciation for rapper 2Pac, to an estimated 4,300 employees.
Jerry Foxhoven, the director of Iowa's Department of Human Services, was told to resign for being an outspoken 2Pac fan.
— Complex (@Complex) July 17, 2019
According to The Associated Press, Foxhoven was an outspoken fan of the late Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee through his years in the department.
The former director was told to vacate his position on the next workday after he sent an email telling workers to mark 2Pac’s then-approaching birthday last month with some of the late rapper’s music and lyrics.
Foxhoven, 66, told employees that he had been a huge fan of the artist for years and even hosted weekly “Tupac Fridays” to play his music in the office. It was also reported that he traded lyrics with employees and he marked his own 65th birthday with Shakur-theme cookies, including ones decorated with words “Thug Life”.
A spokesman for the governor wouldn’t confirm or deny that Foxhoven’s email figured into her abrupt request for his 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 spokesperson for Gov. Kim Reynolds. However, the timing of the requested resignation is of significant interest.
The governor’s office has refused to elaborate on those factors, despite an Iowa law that requires state agencies to release the “documented reasons and rationale” when employees resign instead of being terminated.
Foxhoven said in a text message that he believed Reynolds had made the decision to “go in a different direction” before he sent the June 14 email. He said he wasn’t given a reason for the resignation request but that he doubted Shakur was a factor.