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Man fired after sending company-wide Tupac email

Lucy Dean
Pictured: Tupac Shakur. Image: Getty
Tupac Shakur. Image: Getty

It’s a corporate nightmare: you only meant to send that innocuous joke, recipe or comment to a colleague but you’ve gone and sent it to the entire company.

While embarrassing (although sometimes hilarious), the email slip-up doesn’t usually result in a job termination.

But one public servant in Iowa has been left jobless after sending a company-wide email to 4,300 workers celebrating the birthday of rapper Tupac Shakur.

Related story: “Off you f*ck”: Meet Australia’s most inappropriate HR manager

Jerry Foxhoven led Iowa’s Department of Human Services but was forced to resign last month, just one day after he sent the mass email which included an inspirational quote from the rapper.

In the email, Foxhoven told staff to listen to Tupac over the weekend to celebrate the late rapper’s birthday.

Foxhoven had a history of publicly celebrating Tupac, holding “Tupac Fridays” in his office where he played music, and sharing Tupac-themed biscuits on his 65th birthday decorated with the words “Thug life”.

And according to documents obtained by Associated Press, the Iowa Department of Human Services had a massive 350 pages of emails sent to and from Foxhoven featuring the words “Tupac” or “2Pac”.

However, in an interview with NPR, Foxhoven said he was given no information about why his two-year tenure was abruptly terminated, although said he was aware that at least one of his employees wasn’t a fan of the Tupac quotes.

He said he knew one of his staff had reported Foxhoven’s Tupac references to state legislators.

"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.

"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," he said.

"If this is the reason, I'm really disappointed."

In a statement to Iowa Public Radio, a spokesperson for the governor said “she wanted to go in a new direction”.

“She has spent the first part of this year assembling a new team, from top to bottom, to carry out her vision. More changes will be announced in the coming days and weeks ahead."

While Foxhoven is unsure what he’ll do next, with his 67th birthday coming up there’s one thing for sure: he’s going to listen to some Tupac.

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