Is SLO firing fighting firefighter?
September 8, 2011
City officials appear to have taken the first steps toward terminating the employment of San Luis Obispo firefighter John Ryan Mason, including filing of a formal accusation in the wake of a June 4 bar room altercation in which he was involved, sources have told CalCoastNews.
Mason, 34, is in the midst of a preliminary hearing in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, where he faces charges of assault causing great bodily injury, and battery with serious bodily injury. Mason was off-duty when the incident occurred. He is accused of beating Jory Brigham, 32, unconscious at Pappy McGregor’s Bar & Grill in San Luis Obispo.
Mason is claiming self-defense, and the hearing continued today.
San Luis Obispo City Attorney Christine Dietrick declined to confirm that an accusation had been forwarded to Mason, saying in an email to CalCoastNews that “the city is not at liberty to disclose any document reflecting a charge or disciplinary action against an employee, because such a document would be part of a confidential personnel file.”
Dietrick also noted that the applicable city rule “provides that an employee may respond to a written charge within five business days of being served with the charging document.”
Police reported that the fight between the men occurred following an eight-month quarrel regarding the firefighter’s alleged affair with another man’s wife. Brigham had posted a message on his Facebook page that men should not leave their wives for women with whom they are involved. Brigham is married to the best friend of Mason’s wife.
Mason has returned to work at the San Luis Obispo Fire Department, where he has been on desk duty while the city performs its investigation.