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No elder abuse found in Harper Lee, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ author, case

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Posted at 12:46 PM, Mar 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-13 12:46:38-04

MONROEVILLE, Ala. — The march toward publication of another book by the reclusive “To Kill a Mockingbird” author continues forward.

Many people who know her have raised questions about 88-year-old Harper Lee’s ability to consent to publish another book, while others have said she knows what she’s doing, according to a New York Times report.

Alabama officials apparently have found Lee is able to agree to publication of the new book.

Since Lee wrote “To Kill a Mockingbird” in 1960, she had steadfastly refused to publish another book.

Lee now lives in an assisted living facility in Monroeville, Alabama, and some friends say her forgetfulness makes her unable to knowingly consent to publishing the book, “Go Set a Watchman.”

After receiving an anonymous complaint of elder abuse about Lee, the state of Alabama sent investigators to talk to her and others around her.

“We traveled to the nursing home to talk to Ms. Lee at the request of the Alabama Department of Human Resources,” said Steve Feaga, a lawyer with the Alabama Securities Commission, according to the Birmingham News/al.com. “We have since closed our files on the matter.”

Attempts to reach the Department of Human Resources for this story were unsuccessful.

Lee wrote “Go Set a Watchman” before “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and it features some of the same characters.

Lee lawyer Tonja B. Carter found the “Go Set a Watchman” draft in the author’s belongings in August and negotiated a publishing deal with HarperCollins.

For now, “Go Set a Watchman” is still scheduled to be released by HarperCollins in July.