Emails show Iowa official’s Tupac fixation

IOWA CITY (AP) — The director of Iowa’s social services agency was a huge fan of the late rapper Tupac Shakur, and he frequently let his subordinates know it.

Emails obtained by The Associated Press show that Iowa Department of Human Services Director Jerry Foxhoven routinely sent messages to employees lauding Shakur’s music and lyrics even after at least one complained to lawmakers. Then, last month, he sent another such email to all 4,300 agency employees. He was abruptly ousted from his job the next work day.

Foxhoven, 66, told employees that he had been a huge fan of the hip-hop artist for years.

The agency released 350 pages of emails with the words “Tupac” or “2Pac” sent to and from Foxhoven during his two-year tenure.

While some employees praised Foxhoven for using Shakur to inject levity and inspiration into a stressful workplace, at least one complained to lawmakers about it last year. And when Gov. Kim Reynolds told Foxhoven to resign on June 17, it was his first work day after he sent an agency-wide email telling employees to mark Shakur’s birthday over the weekend by listening to one of his songs.

The timing of Foxhoven’s mass email and his resignation has fueled speculation among employees that the two events are linked. A spokesman for the governor wouldn’t confirm or deny that Foxhoven’s email figured into her surprise request for his resignation.

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