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Study unable to determine whether Virginia gov is depicted in racist yearbook photo



"No one we interviewed told us from personal knowledge that the governor is on the picture and no one with knowledge has come to us to report that the governor is on the picture," a report released Wednesday of the law firm that conducted the study, McGuireWoods.
The study also did not "definitely determine the origin of the photographer", which was erected earlier this year and depicted a person in the blackface and another dressed in a Ku Klux Klan hood and clothes.

Wednesday's report, which the governor's office did not immediately comment on, is the latest chapter in a controversy that at times threatened to end Northam's governance.

When the picture first discovered in early February, Northam, a former pediatric neurosurgeon and army doctor, initially confirmed that he was one of the people in the yearbook's photo and apologized. He turned the course the following day and said he didn't think he was pictured, but revealed that he once darkened his face to resemble Michael Jackson during a 1
984 dance competition. He also promised to stay in the office and help the state cure, despite calling for his resignation.

Asked about Northam's walkback, Richard Cullen, a partner at McGuireWoods, reporters told on Wednesday that "the best thing we can conclude is that (Northam) made mistakes on the side of caution and immediately regretted not having denied it, and then he tried to restore or correct the post the next day. "

Speaking at a press conference Wednesday along with McGuireWoods representatives, President Richard V. Homan in Eastern Virginia called Medical School that in 1984 it was published a "lack of administrative supervision by EVMS".

was particularly hurtful for African-American society and our academic community, "said the homan, apologizing for the image." It should never have happened. "

As part of the study, McGuireWoods said it interviewed over 50 people, including governor The governor's wife, governor's staff and alumni.

Northam was interviewed twice on March 27 and May 8 and was described as being cooperative. Northam consistently refused to be in the picture, according to the study.

was informed on Tuesday afternoon of the study's summaries and received a copy of the report on Wednesday morning at the same time as it was available to the press.

Investigators learned that Homan and a former EVMS president knew about the photographer's existence prior to surfacing online in February and until times when Northam ran for public office Neither president published the photo in the media.

Homan told reporters ons Today, he felt that it was not a necessary information for him to do and emphasized that EVMS is "apolitical".

At one point in the press conference a member of the NAACP questioned whether the investigation was independently performed when Cullen was the former lawyer in Virginia.

"This was an independent study, a goal in every respect, and that we fully supported the university by their commitment to being transparent," said George Martin, a McGuireWoods partner.

According to the report, the study showed that the school's yearbooks from 1976 to 2013 contained at least 10 photographs depicting people in blackface and "repeatedly contained other content offensive to women, minorities, certain ethnic groups and others." The school interrupted its yearbooks in 2013.

In the days following the yearbook photo discovery, Virginia was seized by additional scandals.

Two women, Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson, made allegations of sexual assault against the Virginia Democratic Lt. Justin Fairfax, which he has repeatedly denied. About the same time, the Virginia Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring admitted that he had the word blackface as a 19-year-old while dressing as a rapper at a party. Herring had previously called on Northam to resign.

Fairfax and Sylt have been in their positions in the wake of the scandals.

This story has been updated.

CNNs Eli Watkins, Carma Hassan and Amir Vera have contributed to this report.


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