I was appalled at the story “County seeks psych records: Locksmith’s info wanted to fight lawsuit by family” (Page A1, Sept. 16). We have county law enforcement leaders who believe it is best to cast suspicion on locksmith Glendon Engert even though two formal investigations found fault with the Sheriff’s Office for failing to take proper precautions for a known dangerous situation. That Engert had received psychiatric services should be a matter protected by privacy laws. Unless our county attorneys have a credible need for these records, they are acting irresponsibly. I hope the judge will throw out this “fishing expedition” for access to mental health records. The Engert family deserves better.
On a broader scale, we all deserve better. It is well known that the stigma of mental illness keeps many people from seeking treatment. No one should be concerned that seeking medical care for depression, for example, will later be used against them.
The county Sheriff’s Office should concern themselves with fixing their own errors and paying compensation if wrong has been done. Perhaps then the need for so many lawsuits would be greatly reduced.
Sharyn Brown, Modesto