Apparently, Foxhoven's final email told his fellow employees to mark Tupac's birthday by listening to his music over the weekend. His fandom included "Tupac Fridays" being an event at work and playing the music in the office, rapping lyrics with employees and also having Tupac-themed cookies that had "Thug Life" placed on them.
One message hinted that someone at the department had complained to lawmakers about the frequent quotations, and in another exchange, Foxhoven acknowledged that not everyone enjoyed them.
Picture the Iowa Department of Human Services director rollin'.
A spokesperson for the governor's office did not confirm or deny to the AP that Foxhoven's Tupac evangelism had to do with his firing, writing only that "a lot of factors contributed to the resignation of Jerry Foxhoven", without elaborating about what those factors were. "In addition to his love for the rapper, Foxhoven used the rapper and his lyrics - such as It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes" - as an attempt to improve the culture of the company.
"I'm a 66-year-old white guy from the Midwest who likes rap music, who likes Tupac", Foxhoven said, arguing that it was unlikely Iowa governor Kim Reynolds terminated his contract over Tupac.
Ultimately, Foxhoven tells NPR he's glad that his emails about his favorite musical artist have now made national news, because it allows for a discussion about stereotypes and music.
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Foxhoven was, according to the AP, not afraid to share his Tupac appreciation with his subordinates at the Department of Human Services.
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. "'Pay no mind to those who talk behind your back, it simply means that you are 2 steps ahead'". There were 350 pages of such communications, obtained by Foley via a request under Iowa's open records law for all emails sent to and from Foxhoven on his government account that contained the words "Tupac" or "2pac".
"I love your 2pac messages. and the fact that you still send them (despite the haters) makes me appreciate them even more", employee Lisa Bender wrote.
He said he knew one of his staff had reported Foxhoven's Tupac references to state legislators.
"I agree totally. I am going to hang in there on him - despite all of the naysayers", Foxhoven responded.