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Elgin City Council closer to hiring chief of police previously accused of sexual harassment

The agreement offered to Chris Noble was unanimously approved on Tuesday evening. Noble's appointment to police chief now lies with the city manager.

ELGIN, Texas — In its meeting on Tuesday night, the Elgin City Council approved an agreement offer for chief of police to Interim Police Chief Chris Noble.

The eight city councilmembers and Mayor Ron Ramirez unanimously approved the agreement, but Noble's actual appointment to police chief lies with the city manager.

Noble resigned as Sealy's chief of police in 2017 amid accusations of sexual harassment, which members of the public brought up during Tuesday's meeting. Documents obtained by KVUE support the accusations.

Records obtained by KVUE state Noble left the Sealy Police Department in August 2017 after he was accused of sexual harassment. An investigation contracted out to a consulting company by the City of Sealy revealed Noble allegedly made comments toward a male officer on several occasions about his appearance and his body. The officer said these comments were "inappropriate" and "disgusting," according to the documents. 

The investigation included numerous interviews of fellow officers, asking them about inappropriate comments Noble allegedly made about the officer who made the complaint. Officers' interviews ranged from saying they were "shocked" by Noble's alleged comments and "completely inappropriate" to "nothing that stands out as being offensive or inappropriate" since Noble began working at Sealy.

Noble was placed on administrative leave by the Sealy city manager in August 2017, according to the documents. In Noble's statement to the city manager, he said he was "shocked and appalled" at the allegations being made against him. 

Throughout the investigation, several officers, including the complainant, expressed concern about retaliation from Noble. According to the documents, Noble was made aware of these concerns, which he said were "foolish," unless it came to light that the complainant made "false statements." He also stated, according to the documents, that he would not retaliate against anyone involved in the investigation. He did say the one thing he will change is his interaction and they way he "compliments" officers.

Two people made public comments at the meeting in Elgin on Tuesday evening, urging more transparency during the approval process.

Elgin City Manager Thomas Mattis expressed strong support for Noble, saying the department has stabilized under his leadership.

A Texas Commission On Law Enforcement (TCOLE) report states that Noble was an officer with the Austin Police Department for 27 years and three months, served as chief of police for the Sealy Police Department for two years and two months, and has been employed by the Elgin Police Department since February of 2018.

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