Jerry Foxhoven, the director of Iowa's Department of Human Services, was told to resign after emailing an understandably celebratory email centered on his appreciation for 2Pac to an estimated 4,300 employees.
That's the takeaway from a new Associated Press report, which notes that Foxhoven was an outspoken fan of the late Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee throughout his two-year tenure.
"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," a spokesperson for Gov. Kim Reynolds said. However, the timing of the requested resignation is of significant interest for many fans.
Foxhoven was told to vacate his position on the next work day after he sent an email telling workers to mark 2Pac's then-impending birthday last month with some catalog spins. That email, according to the AP report, included a photo of 2Pac smiling and the inspirational quote "Pay no mind to those who talk behind your back, it simply means that you are 2 steps ahead."
Speaking on the factors that possibly contributed to his exit, Foxhoven argued that Reynolds wanted to take the department in "a different direction" and explained that he personally doubted his public 2Pac appreciation was the reason.
Roughly 350 pages of emails that contain either "Tupac" or "2Pac" are cited in the report, as are words of praise from employees who enjoyed the emails.
"I'm a 66-year-old white guy from the Midwest who likes rap music, who likes Tupac!" Foxhoven said, per NPR. "I always try to assume the best of everybody, and I can't imagine that [the governor] would base her decision on the Tupac incident... If this is the reason, I'm really disappointed."
Below is the email that Foxhoven sent to his staff in which he commemorates 2Pac's birthday.