(AP) – 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.

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.”

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

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.

Gov. Northam reiterated his denial that he’s the racist photo. Northam made the comments Wednesday after the investigation findings were released.

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

The law firm’s probe 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. 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.

In an interview with The Virginian-Pilot following a news conference on Wednesday, Dr. Homan, president and provost of the school, said Northam could return to his clinical appointment after his term expires in 2021.

“I’m a physician, so I’ve taken care of lots of patients over the course of my career. I think we’re more forgiving than most professions,” Homan said. “And I think, just generically, it’s important to judge someone’s character or their ability based on their entire life’s history.”

 

 

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