The town of Haymarket, beset by political strife after its previous police chief was twice accused of sexual harassment and then arrested for drunk driving, hired a former Loudoun County sheriff’s commander Monday to oversee its small police department.

Eric S. Noble, 52, began work Monday as the town’s new chief after 27 years as a Loudoun deputy, retiring last year as a major. Noble ran for the Republican nomination for sheriff of Loudoun earlier this year, challenging incumbent Mike Chapman (R), but was defeated in the county convention in May.

Noble replaces former Chief James E. Roop, who headed the six-officer force for 14 years until his resignation in July 2014. Roop was suspended for 15 days in 2005 for creating a hostile work environment and sexual harassment, then suspended for 60 days last year and ordered to undergo sexual harassment counseling. About six weeks after his resignation, he was arrested in Winchester after driving the wrong way down a one-way street, police said. Court records show Roop pleaded guilty in April, was fined $250 and his license was suspended for a year.

Gregory Smith, a retired Prince William County captain, served as interim chief since Roop’s resignation while Haymarket went through the search process. Mayor David Leake said “the Town Council and I expect the Chief to build upon the transformation over the past year and to bring the police department to the next level.”

Noble, a four-time valor award winner in Loudoun, said he would work together with Smith this week ahead of the town’s Haymarket Day festival on Saturday, then take the reins fully next week. “It’s an exciting opportunity,” Noble said, “to build on the successes of Interim Chief Smith and I’m looking forward to becoming part of such a vibrant community.” Haymarket, in western Prince William, has a population of about 1,900.