SLO firefighter fired despite dodging assault conviction

November 8, 2012

John Ryan Mason

The San Luis Obispo Fire Department fired the fire fighter who recently escaped a felony assault conviction for his role in a bar bathroom brawl.

John Ryan Mason, a fire engineer and paramedic, faced charges of felony assault with great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury following his alleged beating of Jory Brigham in the bathroom of Pappy McGregor’s Bar & Grill after a wedding. Mason’s trial concluded with a hung jury leaning eight to four in his favor, and the District Attorney’s Office chose not to retry the case.

The fire department placed Mason on unpaid administrative leave in April, yet City Manager Katie Lichtig recently named him as a nominee for city employee of the year.

But, several members of the city council told CalCoastNews that Mason’s behavioral pattern did not match the ethical code of a San Luis Obispo firefighter and that they were in favor of his termination. The fire department’s code of ethics mandates that firefighters “accept this responsibility of public trust both on and off duty.”

The power to fire Mason rested in the hands of Fire Chief Charlie Hines. Mason has 15 day to file an appeal.

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Hold your breath. Now that this creep is no longer protected by the city I’ll bet that it will not be too long before we see his name in the headlines again. I don’t believe that the story we will be reading about will have anything to do with a positive nature but only another unfortunate criminal act. I just hope that he doesn’t kill someone next time.

Or get killed trying to assault the wrong individual…

All you boys on the short list for a job at SLO City better think long and hard if you really want to work for a department who’s chief will not only not support you, but will throw you under the bus the first chance he gets.

Considering Mason stole the bus, and the crashed it, can you honestly blame Chief Hines. Jeez, SloJo at what point would you finally say enough was enough? As a friend of Mason, and a fellow firefighter, your defense lacks that spark of creditability so essential to postulate a believable defense of a violence prone City employee. Oh, and Katy, he’s now free to work around your house or the City . Any takers for runner up Employee of the year????

John Ryan Mason threw himself under the bus. The Chief and the rest of the first responders have more pressing responsibilities than babying and covering up for Mason.

Mason’s behavior was horrific, and, worse, cowardly. How can the people the SLOCity FD serves possibly have any faith in the Fire Department if the Chief continues to let one of the first responders beat a civilian into the floor, and then run away?

The fire chief has a responsibility to the people of the city, and to all the members of his fire department…not just John Ryan Mason. There are other duties the Chief must deal with, and he can’t adequately run the Department if he has to spend so much of his time and Department resources on one psycho coward like Mason.

Your version is not what happened Mary. Were you at the trial? Did you hear BOTH sides of the WHOLE story?

as you can see slojo noone seems to agree with you as of now!

I was not at the trial, slojo. I did not hear “BOTH sides of the WHOLE story” so please enlighten me now. You have many interested people here so go ahead. Tell us the WHOLE story because of now, 99.9% of us think John Ryan Mason is a violent thug who deserved prison time but we’re happy that at least he lost his job. Do tell, slojo….do tell!

Very well said MaryMalone! Mason’s behavior was horrific and he has major anger issues!!!! to

bash someones face in literally? he can’t handle his alcohol!!! or his anger! or his wife!!!! who

seems to have started this whole fiasco with her wondering outside their marraige vows!!!! he

deserves to fired, makes the fire dept look bad if they side with him condoning

him bashing in someones face!!!!!

Are you serious “letsbhonest”? You don’t even know the back story…..his wife didn’t start anything. Unbelievable.

Ive heard enough of this story the back and the end lets all move along now………….

I’m a retired FF and retired after a 30 year career with a large fire department. My perspective is quite different than yours because I actually worked for a fire department. It’s my opinion that the SLO Fire Chief handled this correctly. You are probably not aware there are civil service rules to be followed prior to firing an employee. It appears to me that the Chief got all his ducks in a row prior to the firing of Mr. Mason. When it’s not done correctly it turns into a mess that can go on for years. When it’s done correctly, it sticks. The Fire Chief didn’t throw Mr. Mason “under the bus”, rather, he did his job. I congratulate him.

Good for you. You are correct that I have never worked for a fire department but I am aware of the “process”. It can “appear” to you however you want, in fact, you may be Hines himself, but reality is it’s probable that Mason will sue for wrongful termination and the Chief will be exposed for the incompetent psychopath that he is. You are correct, when not done correctly, it turn into a mess that can go on for years and let me tell you, SLOFD brass and the city are no strangers to messes.

yah let him sue and all the money he gets will go to his victim!!!

When Ryan left a seriously injured citizen without care and did not hand off his responsibly to another qualified individual, that was the moment he tossed himself under the tall bus.

His unemployment is self inflicted.

slojo says: “and the Chief will be exposed for the incompetent psychopath that he is.”

So basicly you don’t want anyone to take what you say seriously? I have met Hines and he may be double dipping (not a crime) but he is not a ” incompetent psychopath “.

What don’t you understand about “no duty to act”? Quit saying he was supposed to render aid to Brigham……that’s just not true.

What part of “The fire department’s code of ethics mandates that firefighters “accept this responsibility of public trust both on and off duty” don’t you understand?

The FD has wasted enough resources on John Ryan Mason, and the citizens who live in this area have been at risk from Mason’s uncontrollable anger and poor judgment for far too long.

As others have voiced, I hope Mason moves to another community. However, Mason should not be in a position of public trust. I really hope future potential employers do a thorough background check on Mason when he applies for a job.

“…Mason will sue for wrongful termination…”

What lawyer in their right mind would take such a case on contingency? I suspect Ryan is into Cassiola for huge bucks. He’s unemployed. He’ll hardly find lucrative gov’t work with his background.

Stick a fork in Mason — he’s done. The next thing I expect to hear about him is that he’s in jail because he attacked someone else or he’s in the hospital/morgue because he finally fooled with the wrong person.

I’m not sure what you mean by “process”. That’s too vague for me. And no, I’m not Hines and I don’t even know the man. I just know it can become very difficult to fire someone after they’ve fulfilled their probationary period. My dept. fired a few guys over the years and they all had it coming but it takes time. From my perspective it appears that Chief Hines took his time, built a case and carried out the punishment which in this case was termination. Sounds like a competent Fire Chief to me.

Huh? The nutbag busted a champagne bottle across the face of Al Beaver awhile back cuz he thought (he can think?) Al was eyeballing his date.

Hopefully he won’t even qualify to be a mudflap.

Not to mention ruining the “happiest” day of the Bride’s life. Have another drink, Loser.

Really? This is what you HEARD right? Do you always believe gossip?

Yeah, from Al, AND it’s been in the Trib. and here.

It MUST be true then! OMG….

you definetly must be related to this “anger management poster child” !!!!!!!

gimee a break. The guy beat an intoxicated man senseless in a bathroom of a restaurant and then ran away.

Do you think he was running away to the fire department to put on his gear to come back to help the down man? If not, then what are you talking about? Do you think this type of person really belongs on a fire department?