- The Washington Times - Monday, September 28, 2009

RICHMOND | Some relatives of the Virginia Tech shooting victims had lingering concerns after a meeting with Gov. Tim Kaine, although participants described Saturday’s more than two-hour closed-door session as productive.

The meeting with about 30 family members was the second of three Mr. Kaine promised as part of a settlement to avoid lawsuits over the April 2007 shootings that left 33 dead, including student gunman Seung-hui Cho.

Mr. Kaine said he and the families had a “candid discussion about issues of concern,” including an continuing effort to make corrections to the report issued by the state panel that investigated the shootings. The state has contracted with a private company to oversee the revisions.

“We talked a lot about it, and they want to make sure it’s accurate,” Mr. Kaine said. “They made that very plain.”

Andrew Goddard, whose son Colin was wounded in the shootings, said he was concerned that the same people who made mistakes on the report were providing the corrections with no formal involvement from the independent panel, which Mr. Kaine has declined to reconvene.

“I’m not convinced that’s the best method,” Mr. Goddard said.

The eight-member panel appointed by Mr. Kaine after the shootings had four months to investigate before issuing a report that criticized the school’s actions and offered recommendations for the future. Some families conducted their own investigations into the events and found conflicting accounts of the timeline of events and other discrepancies.

Mr. Kaine reiterated Saturday that he would not reconvene the panel, as many family members have suggested. But Suzanne Grimes, whose son Kevin Sterne was wounded, said she thinks Mr. Kaine sincerely wants to get the report right.

“The governor has reassured us today that we will know the truth as accurately as possible,” she said, adding that she was still troubled that the report contained errors.

Ms. Grimes said she also complained to Mr. Kaine that Tech officials have not always told them in advance about events honoring or remembering the victims, as required by the settlement.

“We don’t want to control what they’re doing,” she said. But she said it’s “emotionally traumatic” to read about events after the fact.

Mr. Kaine will have another meeting with the parents before he leaves office in mid-January.

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