Former Cal Fire SLO captain arrested for sexual battery

December 24, 2020

James Peter Thomas

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s detectives arrested a former local Cal Fire captain earlier this month for sexual battery.

James Peter Thomas, 56, recently retired from the San Luis Obispo County Fire Department. It is unclear whether he retired before or after his Dec. 14 arrest.

On Dec. 9, a person reported a sexual assault to the SLO County Sheriff’s Office. Detectives conducted an investigation, arrested Thomas and booked him in the SLO County Jail.

Thomas has since been released from custody.

Sheriff’s officials are recommending the SLO County District Attorney’s Office charge Thomas with a single count of misdemeanor sexual battery.

In 2019, Thomas received $217,732 in total pay and benefits from the state, according to Transparent California.


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Jon Tatro

56 is the new 86 with this guy.


Jorge Estrada

Just another story about tax dollars being re-directed. The what’s worse than a hurricane joke is a juvenile prank for adult funding.


blackjack

Is it just me, or does this mugshot scream ” make me a whiskeycoke beotch” ?


obispan

Multiply $218,000 x 90% plus 5% per year for life. This is why firefighter jobs are so coveted and awarded based almost solely on connections with minimal qualifications. The job is less dangerous than that of a grocery store clerk or a house painter. And this waste is untouchable because they are “American Heroes”.


slojustice

It sounds to me you failed in your quest to be a fireman


obispan

Nope, happy and successful where I am. Just don’t care to pay physician wages for janitorial skills.


derasmus

Obispan, Not sure where you got your numbers. Transparent Ca indicates for 2019 his total salary (not medical and vacation benefits), including overtime, was $148,443. If you multiply that by the highest retirement award he could qualify for, 90 percent, his annual pension would be around $133k. However, about $40k of that $148k was overtime and my understanding is that overtime “pension spiking” was done away with during Governor Brown’s recent tenure. Also, not sure where you got the 5 percent annual increase. Friends of mine who are retired CALPERS tell me the annual increase is 1-2 percent with a max at 2 percent and it is based on the CPI.


You make some fair points but I believe your numbers are exaggerated a bit.


kayaknut

I’m sure it was only a coincidence he was able to retire before being arrested. Also at age 56 he just all of a sudden did his first sexual assault. More likely he has been doing it all along and it finally got to a point where officials told him he’d finally crossed a line and he was going to be arrested and if he wanted to secure his pension he better retire first.


obispan

His pension is secured there no matter what he does, we can only hope that it funds only his commissary as he rots in jail. It’s also there for the victim to pursue civil action and that’s where I want my taxpayer money to end up.


mazin

How about a “windfall California state and local government pension” tax, recapturing some of these excessive retirements? If you can have a targeted oil windfall tax, etc., why not?


sbjcl

Wow I agree with Mazin on something, great idea!!


obispan

This must happen. An accounting of pension costs and liability with payouts capped, period. I would think $100,000/yr maximum would be more than reasonable and balance the budget overnight.


Gordo

This weirdo grabbed another firefighter’s boobs thinking he was funny. Apparently the victim didn’t think so.. Glad he isn’t still with Cal Fire. I wonder how many former co-workers are going to come forward with similar stories? If Cal Fire knew about his behavior and did nothing about it, then they could be civilly liable. That is where the payday is for the victims.


kayaknut

But he kinda still is, getting a 100%+ pension, even if by some small chance he spends time in jail, the pension keeps coming, Now if the victim gets the pension that could be something but we all know that wont happen, any financial penalty will be paid by the taxpayers.


IDBOUND

Somebody wants a chunk of his retirement nest egg …The misdemeanor charge is just the pre-civil judgement guarantee of a financial score … If he wasn’t part of the Gov club he’d be facing at least one felony and have to register as a sex offender , but the penal action will be swept under the rug


obispan

People with ill-gotten gains tend to make these mistakes.