The Leesburg Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday to hire a former Prince William County executive as its town manager.
Robert S. Noe, city manager of Tamarac, Fla., will replace former town manager Steven C. Brown. Brown resigned March 1 as part of a deal with prosecutors to end an investigation into his use of the town's credit card.
The town's finance director, Paul E. York, has been serving as the acting town manager.
Noe, 59, was among the top candidates in 1991 when the Town Council hired Brown. But Noe withdrew his name and became a city manager in Florida after he and council members were unable to agree on a salary, said town Personnel Manager Nancy Fixx. Noe will make $110,000 a year, $10,000 more than Brown made.
"The town lost out on him back then," said Mayor James E. Clem. "This time, it was unanimous. I'm very pleased. He's a top-notch town manager and he's a good, well-rounded gentleman."
Born in Norfolk and raised in North Carolina, Noe graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1964 as a political science major and earned his master's in public administration from the school in 1974. He served as town manager of Herndon from 1972 to 1978 before becoming county executive of Prince William County.
His 11-year tenure in Prince William overlapped with that of J. Hamilton Lambert, former Fairfax County executive. Lambert is working as a consultant for the town and led the process of hiring a town manager.
Noe, who is married and has one child, was selected from among 75 candidates and was one of eight candidates the council interviewed last week. He will oversee the town's $21 million annual budget and 230 employees.
"I've been anxious to come back to Northern Virginia," Noe said. "It's an excellent professional challenge and an excellent place to live."
Noe was fired from his job as city manager of Hollywood, Fla., after a 22-month stint. He describes his tenure there as difficult and wrote in his resume that it was "highlighted by the discovery of things that had been either ignored or hidden for many years."
According to a 1994 article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the reasons cited for his firing included a lack of communication with the City Commission about the city's financial condition and his involvement in a dispute over a $50,000 legal settlement he approved for a female employee who said she had been sexually harassed by the city's Crime Watch coordinator.
Officials in Leesburg said they are confident that Noe has the necessary leadership skills to run the town.
"He's one of those people who has such a high level of integrity," said Vice Mayor B.J. Webb. "He is very bright and very down to earth. He understands the importance of maintaining the quality of life in Leesburg, and he understands that we want to move into the 21st century."
Noe's first tasks will include hiring a new police chief, town attorney and deputy town manager for Leesburg. He starts Sept. 20.