No elder abuse found in Harper Lee case

Questions have been raised about the "To Kill a Mockingbird" author's ability to consent to publishing another book.

Story highlights

  • Elder abuse claim filed about elderly "To Kill a Mockingbird" author
  • Her second book is out in July but people question her consent to publish

(CNN)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 have found Lee wants to publish the 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 from the Alabama Securities Commission to talk to her and others around her.
    "It was clear to our investigators that she fully understood the questions that were being asked, that she indicated she certainly wanted her book published, and she had her opinions that were voiced during the interview," Joseph Borg, the agency's director, told CNN.
    "And at that point we decided that she certainly knew what was going on."
    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.
    The Securities Commission investigation is closed.
    "Should something come up a later date that shows something was wrong, which we have no indication of, we could take another look," Borg said. "But since we had no complaint from the person who in the middle of it all, so there was no reason to maintain the case open."