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Denver manager of safety suddenly steps down

8:54 PM, Jul 27, 2011   |    comments
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Wednesday afternoon, the deputy manager of safety was sworn in as the interim manager of safety. City Attorney Ashley Kilroy will keep the position until the mayor's transition team finds a permanent replacement.

"We are trying to be deliberate and get the right person," Al LaCabe, former safety manager and member of the steering committee, said. "We will do that as quickly and deliberately as possible."

Calls to Garcia for his reasons for quitting were not returned Wednesday.

"He made that decision," Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said. "And we have to move on from there."

The police union has criticized Garcia's tough disciplinary measures regarding police officers. Since he took over the position in March, he's approved the firing of eight officers involved in excessive use of force and/or lying on police reports.

The police union says it's happy to see him go.

"He's single-handedly destroyed the morale and the reputation of the DPD. He's overstepped his bounds, it's as simple as that," Denver Police Protective Association President Nick Rogers said.

Rogers says Garcia will have to return to testify in the civil service cases that are being appealed by officers.

"The officers will be vindicated and everyone will know that Charlie Garcia was not fair and impartial," Rogers said.

Hancock said that although he was not in office when Garcia made the decisions, he agreed with the ones "he was aware of."

"I think whenever someone has to make decisions on the level Charlie had to make, you're going to upset the rank and file," Hancock said. "The thing is, we have to always be willing to keep the conversation open."

Garcia was a former public state defender for 25 years.

He has denied repeated requests for interviews.

If you have any information on this story, please email Investigative Reporter Deborah Sherman at Deborah.Sherman@9NEWS.com.

(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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