07/27/2011 07:12 pm ET Updated Sep 26, 2011

Denver Manager Of Safety Charles Garcia Resigns, Oversaw Most Police Firings In City History

To the slight surprise of Mayor Michael Hancock and others, Denver Manager of Safety Charles Garcia announced his resignation today.

In a brief statement made to the press, Mayor Hancock said that they are in the process of interviewing three or four candidates for his position, and that he was notified Garcia was leaving last weekend.

"The resignation was also up to Charlie, I did not ask him to leave," Hancock said. "Charlie just decided it was time to move on."

Ashley Kilroy, a former prosecutor and deputy manager of safety to Garcia, is now acting in Garcia's place. During his approximate five month period as manager of safety, Garcia approved the firing of eight Denver Police officers for excessive force and lying. Garcia oversaw the most officers fired in Denver's history, according to 9News.

The Denver Police Protective Association has been criticizing Garcia and Independent Monitor Richard Rosenthal since at least May in retaliation to the firings and hoping to have both replaced.

From KDVR:

Garcia, who took over in the position in March, fired the officers based on a new discipline matrix that was established to lay out clear penalties for specific transgressions.

"Charlie Garcia made some of the most difficult decisions ever facing a Manager of Safety," Hancock told FOX 31 Denver Wednesday in an exclusive sit-down interview. "I've agreed with the decisions he's made up to this point."

The Huffington Post reported early last month that Denver's police brutality settlements have already exceeded $1 million this year.

Hancock said during a press conference that he has told Garcia he is welcome to reapply as they seek to hire a new manager of safety.