After two people died on a highway outside Ontario in January, state health officials kept mum. They said they couldn’t breathe a word about the suspect, Anthony W. Montwheeler. But they had plenty to say when it turned out that public records would be released to illuminate the state’s actions in his case.
They had an after-hours meeting with a key legislator to urge a change to state law to make such records secret. They sat in a hastily called public hearing, misleading legislators with talk that fixing the law was just a “clarification.” And they created a patently false impression that if legislators didn’t do something, the public would be pawing through private medical records, a state agency would likely make bad and dangerous decisions, and doctors would, well, doctor their records about psychiatric patients.
The main witness was Micky Logan, legal affairs chief at . . .