SLO fire chief to retire
July 23, 2013
San Luis Obispo Fire Chief Charlie Hines will retire from the city in September, according an email memorandum issued by City Manager Katie Lichtig Tuesday.
Hines, who recently rehired the embattled firefighter John Ryan Mason, will retire on September 10 in order to spend more time with his family, according to Lichtig’s email.
“Charlie and I have been discussing his desire to spend more time with his family for a number of months and he has decided for the first time in 38 years to put his family first,” Lichtig wrote.
Last month, Hines reinstated Mason, a fire engineer and paramedic, who faced charges of felony assault with great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury for his alleged beating of a man in a bar bathroom following a wedding. Several members of the public protested Hine’s decision to rehire Mason before the city council.
Councilman Dan Carpenter, who criticized the Mason rehire, slammed Lichtig for Hine’s sudden retirement in an email response Tuesday afternoon.
“Once again, we get left the horrid remnants of your ineffective decision making and management style,” Carpenter wrote. “The residents of SLO deserve better.”
Since Lichtig became city manager in January 2010, the majority of the department head positions have turned over, some more than once.
Hines became the fire chief in October 2010 following the death of previous Chief John Callahan. Hines previously served as the fire chief of Yakima, Washington.