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EDITORIAL: State should focus on real safety risk, not supposed threats from open records

State officials went into crisis mode earlier this year when it became apparent that records regarding Anthony Montwheeler would be released. They formed teams. They spent a fortune on lawyers. And they tried to panic other officials into keeping the documents confidential.

Montwheeler is the Idaho man who for nearly 20 years was treated as mentally ill in Oregon. He then insisted he had been faking his illness all along, and a state psychiatrist contravened years of diagnosis to say Montwheeler wasn’t ill enough to keep in state control. Less than a month later, two people were dead and a third injured in crimes now charged to Montwheeler.

The details of Montwheeler’s time in state control emerged in files released to the Malheur Enterprise. Officials at the Oregon State Hospital and the Oregon Health Authority fought that release, and then tried a legislative end run to see such . . .