Maybe Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is a Biggie fan.
Twitter lit up on Tuesday when the Associated Press revealed that Iowa Department of Human Services Director and Tupac superfan Jerry Foxhoven was forced to resign days after sending out a department-wide email commemorating Tupac's birthday.
The governor's office has refused to say whether Foxhoven was fired for that specific email, but the AP discovered hundreds — nearly 350 — of pages of emails from Foxhoven about his love for Tupac and his lyrics.
The director of @IowaDHS sent this email lauding Tupac to all 4,300 staff on Friday, June 14 - his latest missive in a quirky fixation with the late rapper. The governor told him to resign the next work day but won't say why https://t.co/2GIANXzbTZ pic.twitter.com/BmZqc53FPX— Ryan J. Foley (@rjfoley) July 16, 2019
In the post that allegedly got him axed, Foxhoven reminds his 4,300 staff members that Tupac's birthday falls on Father's Day and that he would be celebrating both.
“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,” spokesperson Pat Garrett told the AP.
AP reporter Ryan J. Foley secured the emails referencing Tupac through Iowa’s open records law.
Foxhoven was well known — and beloved by his coworkers — for his deep, profound love of the legendary rapper. The 66-year-old brought Tupac-themed cookies for his own birthday, held "Tupac Friday" events where he would play the rapper's music in his office and often sent inspirational Tupac quotes to people in the department.
OMG he had a birthday party and his staff, knowing his love for tupac, brought him tupac themed baked goods 😭 pic.twitter.com/T3Fk76ASo3— Tim Mak (@timkmak) July 17, 2019
The AP says Foxhoven always commemorated the rapper's death day and often celebrated various holidays throughout the year with Tupac lyrics. Some within the office even said he tried to reshape the department's image with Tupac in mind.
According to news reports, most employees enjoyed Foxhoven's strange obsession with Tupac. But one department official allegedly leaked one of Foxhoven's Tupac emails to the state's Republican lawmakers.
People seemed to enjoy his Tupac quote.— Tim Mak (@timkmak) July 17, 2019
"Hello Jerry, I'm Kathy a psychologist [on staff]... thank you for the inspiration quote from 2PAC"
More than one dialogue, it seems! Here's what a woman named Yvonne wrote back to Jerry:— Tim Mak (@timkmak) July 17, 2019
"Great to be on a team of people who care!"
And another Tupac quote right back at him pic.twitter.com/QASVemqsqK
Another positive response to the Tupac quote!— Tim Mak (@timkmak) July 17, 2019
"You are such a breath of fresh air Jerry!" writes Lila. "Thanks for all you do, to lift us up and help us feel better about what we do than we have felt in a long time!"
Foxhoven spent decades as a Drake University law professor and was initially brought in to save the moribund agency, which was in the middle of a number of scandals involving disabled children who died in state custody and abuse claims from boys in a state-run group home.
After appointing Foxhoven as director of Iowa's DHS in 2017, Governor Reynolds asked for his resignation on June 17, just days after he sent his last Tupac appreciation email.
"I hope you all enjoy the day as well — and take time to enjoy one of his songs. (Hard to believe he has been gone for almost 23 years)," he wrote to the entire department in his last email.
"Here is an inspirational quote by him: 'Pay no mind to those who talk behind your back, it simply means you are 2 steps ahead.'"