Unless you've been comatose for a week, you've probably heard that Lance Farber, the chiropractor and (ex-?) boyfriend of planning director John Rahaim, has been jailed after starting a fire in the city-owned historic fire chief's home.
What you haven't heard is that when Farber moved from Seattle to San Francisco with Rahaim, Washington's Department of Health was investigating the back doctor's standards of care after receiving a complaint about him.
But before we get into that, let's recap. Farber and Rahaim, the city's brand-new planning director, had been crashing at the Dennis T. Sullivan Memorial Fire Chief's Home on Bush Street since December. On Feb. 22, during what lawyers and the press have called a "lover's quarrel," Farber allegedly overturned furniture, crushed tomatoes into the walls and carpet, and set fire to the couple's mattress. (Oh, the symbolism!)
Soon after, Farber got yanked for a DUI in San Mateo County. This damage: $30,000. The bail: A cool million (at least, that was the amount at press time). His charming lawyer, Randall Knox, is doing his best to work that figure down, insisting that Farber is not a flight risk and is not dangerous. Farber's friends agree that the "brilliant, kind-hearted" man is certainly no risk to the public.
Upon hearing of Farber's predicament, longtime friend and Oklahoma chiropractor Bruce Babcock expressed concern. "Oh, crap," he said. "That's not the Lance I know." He describes his friend as "a lost puppy. He comes to your door. You pick him up. You adore him. You feed him. You don't know if he'll stay or go." Farber is also, Babcock says, a great researcher and "one heck of an adjuster, as a chiropractor."
Farber's numerologist, Sally Fabian, has been evaluating his birthday numbers for years, and she's always had "a very positive association" with him. "He's rather a class act," she says.
Not everyone feels that way, apparently. While reporting this story, SF Weekly discovered that one of Farber's chiropractic patients in Seattle had recently filed a complaint, triggering an investigation by Washington's Department of Health. Department spokesman Jeff Smith sounded surprised to hear from us, noting that the investigation into Farber's standards of care had been stalled because the department couldn't find him.
"So he's in jail?" Smith asked, sounding nothing like Sherlock Holmes. "Well, I guess now they can locate him."