H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Jun 10, 2013 9:57 PM by Katherine Worsham, KSBY News

SLO residents protest rehiring of firefighter

Nearly two dozen people protested in front of San Luis Obispo's City Hall on Monday afternoon, upset about the fire department's decision to rehire John Ryan Mason as a firefighter.

In September 2012, a jury was unable to reach a verdict in Mason's trial on assault charges stemming from a fight in a bar bathroom.

Mason was accused of beating another man, Jory Brigham, unconscious at Pappy McGregor's Bar and Grill in San Luis Obispo in June 2011.

In November 2012, Mason was let go as a firefighter with the City of San Luis Obispo, but he was rehired this June.

Fire Chief Charlie Hines said the decision to reinstate Mason was based on many factors, including that no disciplinary action was ever taken against Mason during his employment at the fire department and all of his evaluations were good.

Protestors Monday said they believe violent behavior should not be accepted from people entrusted with public safety responsibilities and that city officials need to hold public safety employees to the highest standards.

Chief Hines responded to the protest by saying it was democracy in action and the protestors had the right to demonstrate.

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