Allegations that suspended federal housing official Emanuel S. Savas directed government employes to work on his privately published book were referred to the Justice Department yesterday for possible prosecution.
Charles L. Dempsey, inspector general of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said he has turned over documents in the case to Justice's public integrity section, which handles allegations against public officials.
"I have referred this today to the Department of Justice for their review as to the prosecutive merit of the case," Dempsey said. The department could proceed on criminal or civil grounds or decline to prosecute. Dempsey said he is continuing his inquiry into other allegations about Savas' official travel and his involvement in certain HUD contracts. Savas, an assistant HUD secretary, has been placed on leave with pay during the investigation.
Several HUD employes have told The Washington Post that they were directed to proofread and partially type Savas' book, "Privatizing the Public Sector--How to Shrink Government," during working hours.
These employes said they each spent several days working on the book, which has sold about 20,000 copies. Savas has said he asked his former assistant to help with the manuscript on his own time and was unaware that HUD employes were working on it.
But the ex-aide said that Savas selected the employes who were to do the work during business hours, and also asked him to help edit some journal articles