Is SLO firing fighting firefighter?

September 8, 2011

John Ryan Mason

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.



  1. cmnsns says:

    Many agencies have a morals clause in their standard personnel rules and regs that basically states if you bring any kind of disgrace to the agency or act in an unprofessional manner you may be terminated. My guess is this may be the case if they are in fact pursuing termination before the trial is complete.

    (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
  2. asthecrowphlies says:

    OK ! So I’d like to know the name of the home-braker that started this fight . She is an adult ( I hope ), she was not sexually assulted , she is a big part of why a guy got his head crushed in . So does anyone know her name and a little bio on her .

    (10) 14 Total Votes - 12 up - 2 down
  3. racket says:

    Good headline.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  4. SLOBIRD says:

    If the story is true that SLO is considering dismissal of Mason, you are all assuming that it is because of this incident. A person of this caliber usually has issues and problems in other areas of their lifes and it would not surprise me that there is another issue on the table with his employment record, i.e, incident with a co-worker, failure to pass a drug test (although SLO City usually stays to rehab the employee first, incompetent, or other workplace situations). If this is true, my bet is that it will not be related to this case considering this would not be legal. Just saying!

    (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
    • Rawhide says:

      SLOBIRD: I agree with you…
      I’d would most certainly bet that Mason has been in, or presently is in, “drug rehab” for drug abuse; and possibly enrolled in Anger Management classes for past violent acts like hitting a man over the head with a bottle; all the while the Fire Chief and the City of SLO letting him keep his job. (Culpability questions here?)
      If that is the case, the Civil Law Suit will be very interesting to watch regardless what the Superior Court Judge rules concerning the Criminal complaint.

      (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
      • slojo says:

        He is not in drug rehab because he does not have a drug problem.

        You can’t fire a guy until he is convicted of what he is accused of. What world do you live in??!!

        (-2) 14 Total Votes - 6 up - 8 down
        • Vagabond says:

          Since when is someones employment guaranteed until convicted of misdoings in a court of law? What world do you live in? There are standards of behavior requirements for almost every legitimate job out there. If you have a job, just ask your employer if they would keep you in a position of authority after what is known here.

          (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down

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