Results of investigation into racist Northam yearbook photo will be revealed

23 Mai, 2019, 04:07 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and his 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook page

A three-month-long investigation commissioned by Eastern Virginia Medical School could not determine whether or not Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) was in a racist photograph that appeared on his page in the school's 1984 yearbook.

An independent investigation commissioned by the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) could not identify the individuals in the photo.

"No one we interviewed, however, could provide any first-hand knowledge of an actual mistake on any page, including any personal page, within the 1984 yearbook", the school said in the 55-page report.

Northam's political career nearly ended when the photo surfaced in February.

When the picture came to light in February, the Democrat initially acknowledged he was in it and apologized without saying which costume he was in, then reversed course the next day, saying he was not in the photo. McGuireWoods did find ten photographs depicting individuals in blackface based on the law firm's review of all EVMS yearbooks.

"The staff members were advising the president at the time of the photograph and asking if EVMS had an obligation to or should do something about it, such as notifying Governor Northam about it", the report says.

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"We thank EVMS for its cooperation and responsiveness during the investigation", Richard Cullen, who led the investigation, said in a press release. "That being said, I know and understand the events of early February and my response to them have caused hurt for many Virginians and for that, I am sorry". This classmate had reportedly been reacting to Northam seeming to casually endorse infanticide during his promotion of an abortion bill in a radio interview on January 30.

On Tuesday, investigators hired by EVMS submitted the results of their investigation.

At a press conference on Wednesday, the school's current president, Richard Homan, said he first learned he first learned of the photo during Northam's run for governor and had no regrets about his decision to not release the photo.

"We are a public institution; we receive public funds", Homan said. Homan became president of the school in 2013 as Northam was running for lieutenant governor.

The report said other "content that could be offensive to women, minorities, certain ethnic groups" has been featured in the school's yearbook, "although with less frequency in the later years of the yearbooks' publication". Not to mention the blackface scandal facing Attorney General Mark Herring and the sexual assault allegations against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax. Herring had previously called on Northam to resign.



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