Suspended psychiatrist accused of making disturbing, aggressive calls
By Diana Hefley
October 2, 2014
Said Farzad is fighting the suspension of his medical license and filed an appeal last week in Pierce County Superior Court. Farzad, 63, also must now defend against a telephone harassment charge, a felony.
The charge stems from allegations the Gig Harbor man made a series of disturbing phone calls to Molina Healthcare in May. Farzad was working as psychiatrist at Sea Mar Behavioral Health Clinic in Tacoma.
Detectives were told that Farzad frequently called the office whenever his patients’ prescriptions were delayed or denied coverage. Many of his patients were on government-funded health care plans and were required to have their prescriptions authorized by Molina.
Farzad’s calls became increasingly aggressive and insulting, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Edirin Okoloko wrote in court papers filed late last week. Employees were instructed not to take calls from him and to refer his inquires to a supervisor.
Farzad called Molina five times May 5. He allegedly threatened to go to the business armed with a gun. One employee reported that Farzad said he was “homicidal” and told her to get the FBI on the line because he felt like murdering people in her department and wanted to come to Molina with machine guns, Okoloko wrote. He also allegedly warned another employee he was nearing the office and he was armed with a bomb.
Employees told detectives they were afraid that Farzad would carry out this threats.
Bothell detectives arrested Farzad the next day at his clinic.
Farzad admitted that he was upset with Molina over denying psychiatric medications to his patients, Okoloko wrote. He denied making any threats to employees.
Farzad is scheduled to be in Snohomish County Superior Court later this month to answer to the charge.
When contacted on Wednesday, Farzad’s attorney Brett Purtzer, of Tacoma, declined to comment.
“I don’t have anything to say right now,” Purtzer said.
Farzad was licensed to practice in Washington in 2005. State records show he has worked for at least three different clinics since 2012.
The state Department of Health suspended Farzad’s license shortly after his arrest in May. The suspension was upheld after a hearing in late July. The state’s Medical Quality Assurance Commission concluded that the public needed to be protected and Farzad’s “ability to practice with reasonable skill and safety was sufficiently impaired by a mental condition,” state records show.
The commission found Farzad’s demeanor to be “manipulative, controlling, and grandiose, and indicates some type of underlying mental condition that does interfere with his ability to practice as a physician …,” records show.
Farzad was ordered to undergo a neuropsychological examination before applying to have his license reinstated. He must submit the evaluation to The Washington Physicians Health Program, which will determine whether Farzad is safe to return to practice, and if not, what treatment is recommended.
Farzad also might still need to answer to allegations that he crossed professional boundaries with patients in 2013. Prior to his arrest in May, the state was investigating complaints that Farzad encouraged relationships with two patients, buying them gifts and socializing with them outside the office.
Those charges have not been resolved; however, the commission found that a mental health condition might have led to unprofessional conduct, said Marqise Allen, a spokesman for the state Department of Health.