Charles Holland resigned last Thursday as president of the Writers Guild of America West as controversy continues to erupt over his claims to have served in the U.S. armed forces.

LOS ANGELES--Charles Holland resigned last Thursday as president of the Writers Guild of America West as controversy continues to erupt over his claims to have served in the U.S. armed forces.

The timing of the exit is crucial, as the WGA enters protracted contract negotiations with studios.

Current VP Daniel Petrie Jr. will succeed Holland, who has come under fire after media reports challenged his purported tenure in the U.S. Army Special Forces.

"As committed as I am to fulfilling my responsibilities and to standing up for myself, the guild is more important than one man," Holland said. "I have no choice but to remove myself and clear the air for the only issue that matters: the best possible deal for the benefit of the most possible writers."

The Department of Labor is now investigating guild election procedures following the controversy, which has triggered a recall petition drive.

Holland's exit marks the second time this year that a WGA West president has resigned. Holland took over for Victoria Riskin because she had not been eligible to run in the September election.

While contract talks between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are not yet scheduled, there is widespread concern that the talks may trigger a strike because of the WGA's demands, which include higher DVD residuals. The contract expires May 2.