The Latest: Virginia's yearbook probe meets with some shrugs

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  • Dean of Eastern Virginia Medical School of Medicine, Richard Homan, left, speaks to the media as attorney for McGuire Woods law firm, Ben Hatch, center, and McGuire Woods partner, Richard Cullen, right, listen during a news conference on a report announcing the results of an investigation into a blackface photo that appeared on the yearbook page of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam from his Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook in Norfolk, Va., Wednesday, May 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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    McGuire Woods law firm partner, Richard Cullen, left, gestures as Ben Hatch, right, listen during a news conference on a report announcing the results of an investigation into a blackface photo that appeared on the yearbook page of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam from his Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook in Norfolk, Va., Wednesday, May 22, 2019. An investigation ordered up by Eastern Virginia Medical School failed to determine whether Gov. Ralph Northam is in a 1984 yearbook photo of a man in blackface next to someone in a Ku Klux Klan hood. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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    Richard Homan, Dean of EVMS School of Medicine, speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Norfolk, Va., about a report announcing the results of an investigation into a blackface photo that appeared on the yearbook page of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam from his Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook. Investigators with the McGuire Woods law firm hired by EVMS said Wednesday they couldn't "conclusively determine" the identities of either person in the 35-year-old photo. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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    FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2019 file photo, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, left, gestures as his wife, Pam, listens during a news conference in the Governors Mansion at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. A law firm has completed its investigation into how a racist photo appeared on a yearbook page for Northam. Eastern Virginia Medical School said in a statement Tuesday, May 21 that the findings of the investigation will be announced at a press conference on Wednesday, May 22. Northam's profile in the 1984 yearbook includes a photo of a man in blackface standing next to someone in Ku Klux Klan clothing. Northam denies being in the photo, which nearly ended his political career in February. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

  • Dean of Eastern Virginia Medical School of Medicine, Richard Homan, left, speaks to the media as attorney for McGuire Woods law firm, Ben Hatch, center, and McGuire Woods partner, Richard Cullen, right, listen during a news conference on a report announcing the results of an investigation into a blackface photo that appeared on the yearbook page of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam from his Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook in Norfolk, Va., Wednesday, May 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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    McGuire Woods law firm partner, Richard Cullen, left, gestures as Ben Hatch, right, listen during a news conference on a report announcing the results of an investigation into a blackface photo that appeared on the yearbook page of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam from his Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook in Norfolk, Va., Wednesday, May 22, 2019. An investigation ordered up by Eastern Virginia Medical School failed to determine whether Gov. Ralph Northam is in a 1984 yearbook photo of a man in blackface next to someone in a Ku Klux Klan hood. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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    Richard Homan, Dean of EVMS School of Medicine, speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, in Norfolk, Va., about a report announcing the results of an investigation into a blackface photo that appeared on the yearbook page of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam from his Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook. Investigators with the McGuire Woods law firm hired by EVMS said Wednesday they couldn't "conclusively determine" the identities of either person in the 35-year-old photo. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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    FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2019 file photo, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, left, gestures as his wife, Pam, listens during a news conference in the Governors Mansion at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. A law firm has completed its investigation into how a racist photo appeared on a yearbook page for Northam. Eastern Virginia Medical School said in a statement Tuesday, May 21 that the findings of the investigation will be announced at a press conference on Wednesday, May 22. Northam's profile in the 1984 yearbook includes a photo of a man in blackface standing next to someone in Ku Klux Klan clothing. Northam denies being in the photo, which nearly ended his political career in February. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) The Latest on the results of an investigation into how a racist photo appeared on a yearbook page for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (all times local):

5:00 p.m.

The inconclusive report into whether Virginia's governor was in a racist yearbook photo has been met with shrugs by some Virginians.

A random sampling of state residents said Wednesday that they're more concerned about issues like jobs.

A law firm's investigation failed to determine whether Gov. Ralph Northam was in a photo showing one person in blackface and another in Ku Klux Klan clothing. The image was on Northam's page in the 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook.

Current EVMS students who were eating pizza and throwing a football on campus on Wednesday declined to comment.

People at a nearby mall in Norfolk said there are more important concerns.

Jacob Pricenski, a 20-year-old community college student, said: "So much has been overblown of this that we're kind of losing the big picture."

____

3:30 p.m.

Virginia Republicans say Gov. Ralph Northam still owes the public answers about a how a racist photo appeared on his 1984 medical school yearbook page.

Republicans made the comments Wednesday after an investigation commissioned by Eastern Virginia Medical School failed to determine whether Northam is in the yearbook photo of a man in blackface next to someone in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe.

House Majority Leader Del. Todd Gilbert said in a statement that the "report did not provide many answers" or substantive proof Northam isn't in the picture.

Gilbert also said he was concerned that leaders at the school were aware of the racist photo while Northam was running for office but did not notify the public.

___

3:15 p.m.

A law firm's probe into how a racist photo appeared on a yearbook page for Virginia's governor will cost about $300,000.

Eastern Virginia Medical School President Richard Homan provided the figure Wednesday to The Associated Press. The school hired the firm McGuireWoods to investigate after the photo surfaced in February.

Northam's page in the 1984 yearbook includes a photo of a man in blackface standing next to someone in Ku Klux Klan clothing. Northam denies being in the photo, which nearly ended his political career.

McGuireWoods failed to determine whether Northam is in the picture. It released a detailed report of its probe Wednesday.

Homan said no public funds will be used to cover the probe's costs. The medical school receives about 10% of its funding from the state.

___

1:35 p.m.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is reiterating his denial that he's in a racist photo that appeared on his 1984 medical school yearbook page.

Northam made the comments Wednesday after an investigation commissioned by Eastern Virginia Medical School failed to determine whether Northam is in the yearbook photo of a man in blackface next to someone in a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe.

The Democratic governor initially acknowledged he was in the picture when it surfaced in February. He then reversed course the next day, saying he was convinced he wasn't in the photo.

Northam said Wednesday he was sorry for how he responded and said he's working on addressing longstanding racial inequities.

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12:05 p.m.

The chairman of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus said little has changed after a law firm's report failed to determine whether Gov. Ralph Northam is in a racist picture on his 1984 medical school yearbook page.

State Del. Lamont Bagby said there's "no news" in the investigative report. He said lawmakers should focus instead on fixing long-standing racial disparities in Virginia.

Investigators on behalf of Eastern Virginia Medical School said Wednesday they couldn't "conclusively determine" the identities of either person in a 35-year-old photo that features a man in blackface and someone in Ku Klux Klan clothing.

Northam denied being in the picture, which nearly ended his political career when it first surfaced in February. The Democratic governor has said improving racial inequities is a top priority.

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11:40 a.m.

Two presidents of the medical school Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam attended were aware of the racist photo on his 1984 yearbook page several years before the photo surfaced in February.

However, neither the current president of Eastern Virginia Medical School nor a previous one notified Northam or the public about the photo.

The presidents' previous knowledge of the photograph came to light Wednesday in a law firm's report on how the photo ended up on Northam's yearbook page.

The image shows a person in blackface standing next to a person in Ku Klux Klan clothing.

Current EVMS President Dr. Richard Homan said at a news conference that the school is an apolitical public institution that shouldn't become involved in politics. The school became aware of the photo during years that Northam ran for office.

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11:15 a.m.

Lawyers who investigated how a racist photo appeared on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's 1984 medical school yearbook page say he initially apologized to for being in the picture out of an abundance of caution, but he didn't believe he was in the photo.

Investigators on behalf of Eastern Virginia Medical School said Wednesday they couldn't "conclusively determine" the identities of either person in the 35-year-old photo.

Investigators said Northam didn't believe he was in the photo when he first saw it, but did not want to issue an immediate denial in case someone would contradict him.

Attorney Richard Cullen was one of the investigators and said Northam "erred on the side of caution initially and immediately regretted not having denied."

___

1:25 a.m.

The findings of an investigation into how a racist photo appeared on a yearbook page for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam are set to be released.

Eastern Virginia Medical School plans to make the results of the investigation public at a news conference on Wednesday.

The independent investigation was conducted by the law firm McGuireWoods on behalf of the medical school in Norfolk.

Northam's profile in the 1984 yearbook includes a photo of a man in blackface standing next to someone in Ku Klux Klan clothing. Northam denies being in the photo, which nearly ended his political career in February. Yearbook staff members have disagreed over whether the photo could have been mistakenly placed on Northam's page.

Thousands of letters and emails were sent to alumni asking for information.

  

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