Officials from Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) attended by Democratic Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, revealed their findings to an independent inquiry into racist photographs discovered on the 1984 yearbook page of Northam and over the years. The school commissioned the law firm McGuire Woods to conduct the investigation.
"Regarding the photo on Governor Northam's personal page, we were unable to clearly identify the identity of the two people depicted in the photo," the report revealed. "No person we interviewed told us, from personal knowledge, that the governor is depicted in the photo, and no person with knowledge has reported to us that the governor is pictured in the photo." It is widely used at the beginning of the year following the publication of Northam's page in the Yearbook of the Faculty of Medicine, which shows a picture of one person in black skin and another in a Ku Klux Klan costume. Northam initially apologized for appearing in the photo, but said the very next day that he did not think one of the two figures in the photograph should have resigned because of a racist image that appeared on his yearbook page of the medical school.
Northam also attributed the appearance of the photo on his page to a mistake made by another person and said that he had not seen the yearbook, which he allegedly did not buy, until last week. Northam remains in office after rejecting numerous resignations from national and state politicians from both parties.
"Although we did not find any information that the photo was placed on Governor Northam's personal page, by mistake or otherwise, that was not in accordance with his instructions, we were unable to pinpoint the origin of the photograph," it says in the report. [1
McGuire Woods interviewed Northam on March 27, 2019. Northam named five individuals who may have had information relevant to the 1984 Annual. McGuire Woods spoke with several people, including four people who spoke to Northam on February 1, including two employees. The company conducted follow-up interviews with Northam, its chief of staff Clark Mercer, and interviewed the wife of the Governor of Virginia, Pam Northam.
The company tried to contact EVMS over 80 former and current students in the years 1983-2021. Of those 80, McGuire Woods interviewed 30 people. The survey also included interviews with 15 current and former faculties, administrations and staff.