San Luis Obispo to reinstate Ryan Mason

June 6, 2013
John Ryan Mason

John Ryan Mason

UPDATE: Councilman Dan Carpenter’s statement on this issue is at the bottom of this article.

San Luis Obispo officials have agreed to reinstate embattled firefighter John Ryan Mason.

The decision was made by Fire Chief Charlie Hines with the support of Christine Dietrick, the city attorney. Hines noted that Mason has an exemplary record as a firefighter and feels that he can work with him. Last night, Mason left city hall carrying two uniforms.

The fire chief fired Mason in November, shortly after he escaped a felony assault conviction for his role in a bar bathroom brawl.

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. A few months later, City Manager Katie Lichtig named him as a nominee for city employee of the year.

Nevertheless, 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 city council does not have jurisdiction on this issue.

Councilman Dan Carpenter issued a statement voicing his disapproval of Hines’ decision to rehire Mason.

“I’m extremely saddened and disappointed with the decision of our Fire Chief and top management to reinstate firefighter Ryan Mason,” Carpenter said. “Traditionally, the city has held its public safety employees to the highest level of integrity and trust. Today, that tradition has been compromised by rewarding conduct unbecoming of a firefighter. My heart and compassion go out to Mr. Brigham and his family as they continue to heal from this tragedy.”




An outrageous decision. Frist, Mason was never found not was hung jury.. Second, his adultery seems to be totally forgotten. How can his record be considered “exemplary”????


Have you forgotten already, adultery is not a problem and only a personal matter, not a matter for the public to address. We can thank Mr. Gibson and his supporters, i.e. the rest of the BOS, for that.


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


You got to be kidding me. Are you out of your mind? Ok, he beat felony charges based on a hung jury, I get that. But he still badly injured a guy in a public bathroom and then ran away. That part is undisputed. His profession is that he is the guy who is supposed to show up and help injured people–not injure them and then run away. In every respect possible, he did the exact opposite of what he is supposed to represent.

After the facts were known, to make this guy employee of the year is worse than an insult and a mockery; it’s flat out incomprehensible.


In the sick and twisted progressive world view, beating someone, then beating the system to keep a cushy government job IS cause for nomination for City Employee of the Year!


Essentially the City Attorney and the Chief have chosen to ignore the dangers of a ticking time bomb of which any of us could be the next victim. Bad decision.


Why should they worry, when Mr. Mason does attack the next person and is sued only the taxpayers will have to pay, thanks in part to higher insurance premiums, it’s not their money don’t you know, and as long as the city council keeps their backs turned they have no concerns or job risk.


ANOTHER fine example of FINE LEADERSHIP , by CHRISTINE AND KATY two worthless city emplotees


Karen Velie will be joining me tonight at 5:30 to discuss this disturbing story. Tune in. Call in. 920 AM KVEC. But here’s something to chew on before then. If a firefighter with a pattern of violent behavior is now acceptable to city officials, I guess we no longer have to talk about Paul Brown’s marriage, do we?


What’s acceptable to the city attorney is a little different than what’s acceptable to the voters, don’t ya think? But thanks for bringing up Brown’s marriage problems again, Dave. I’m sure he’ll thank you for that.

Ted Slanders


Jesus H. Christ, how did you get a radio show by acting in the manner shown by your outright discrepant statement above? God only knows, of which I will ask Him tonight in prayer.


Wow Dave.. I’m all for calling out the truth but I think you have gone a little overboard here. I think you owe GalaxyTraveler an apology.


I responded to you, Galaxy, but someone deleted my comment. Let me repeat: I don’t work for CCN. I don’t have access to the site. I took a guess at your identity based on months of reading your predictable comments. You took the bait. So the larger point remains, sir, what about those glass houses?


You miss the point, Dave. You have violated numerous CCN comment guidelines and should be held accountable. I requested that your personal comments about my personal life be deleted, especially since you don’t know what you are talking about. My “House” does not resemble Paul Brown’s “house” in any way. Your implication of such is insulting at the very least.

Clean up your act, Dave. An apology would be a good start.

Ted Slanders


Of course you’re being facetious with your lame analogy presentation, or at least, we hope you were. Your proposition is unsound to any logical thinking, period. You are doing nothing more than presenting an intentional prevarication which is a common rhetorical tactic used by entertainers like you to get the alumni tuned in to your radio show.

You acted in this same manner, of which I and another addressed, and of which your silence was deafening, in the “Brown divorce papers reveal discrepancies” thread.” It has been obvious at CCN that you have to operate under this “entertainer radio show host 101 rhetoric”, but while plying your trade, and subjectively speaking, at least say you were stating what you were in a jokingly manner to save face to the uninformed of this tactic. Just saying.


Only at 5:30? Well, there goes my entertainment of you and Joe struggling through the last hour hoping for calls… I’m betting the lines will be on fire.


Firemen’s brotherhood at its best. Nice to have friends in high places I guess. Where else but government would an employee of a company have this type of behavior, trial, publicity and then be reinstated back on the job -government, government, only government where commonsense is not required for employment. This is an embarrassment to every taxpayer who pays his salary.


I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that MANY (if not most-all) of his “brothers” in the department do NOT want this TURD around them.

I think the decline of morals and morale is about to hit the SLOFD kinda hard. Bad leadership decision, but probably done out of a CYA / fear of lawsuits. What a sad little city we have become; reflective of a nation as a whole, no doubt.


It could be far worse…SLO could be run by Teabaggers…


Yeah! THOSE guys! We’ve read about all the stuff they MIGHT do! No thanks, I’ll take the stuff the non-TEA baggers have been doing for years!



Does anyone believe this is the right thing to do? I don’t.

fat chance

Wow, didn’t see that coming.



Yes, the city council has some authority when they choose to use it. They can direct or fire the city manager, for example.

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