IOWA: Top State Official Ousted In Bizarre Tupac Flap

The Associated Press reports:

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. He hosted weekly “Tupac Fridays” to play his music in the office. He marked his own 65th birthday with Shakur-themed cookies, including ones decorated with the words “Thug life.”

The Des Moines Register reports:

Gov. Kim Reynolds pushed out the leader of Iowa’s Department of Human Services on Monday without explaining why. Leaders of the agency, the state’s largest, are often the target of criticism — and Jerry Foxhoven was no exception. But he was an upbeat champion of the department’s work, and he had repeatedly drawn public praise from the governor.

Reynolds announced Foxhoven’s departure early Monday afternoon in a news release announcing a new interim department director, Gerd Clabaugh.

The release ended with, “Clabaugh replaces Jerry Foxhoven, who resigned effective today.” About two hours later, Foxhoven released a statement of his own, saying, “at the request of the governor, I submitted my resignation.”

Foxhoven was appointed by the GOP governor in June 2017.