NewsLocal News


John Chris Hooper named as Nueces County’s incoming sheriff

Posted at 2:10 PM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-18 06:30:03-04

Nueces County Commissioners have named Corpus Christi police Lt. John Chris Hooper as the county’s new sheriff.

Hooper currently works as the public information officer for the Corpus Christi Police Department. He replaces Jim Kaelin, who resigned last month and will work through the end of the month.

During his interview on Wednesday, Hooper said he started his law enforcement career as a jailer for eight months. He later worked as an officer for both the Port Aransas and Corpus Christi police departments.

Hooper, 58, was selected Wednesday after commissioners spent nearly four hours in open session interviewing five finalists.

Commissioners did not go into executive session to discuss the candidates. All of their discussion about the candidates was made in open session.

Hooper claimed the vote with a majority of three of the five commissioners.

He was the first to be interviewed on Wednesday.

The veteran policeman gave a clear plan of his leadership strategy to commissioners.


Commissioners indicate that 28 applicants sought the job. Hooper will fill Kaelin’s unexpected term, which lasts until 2020 before the seat is up for election.

Commissioner E. John Marez sought a delay to allow for more time on the decision.

But Commissioner Brent Chesney was determined to finish the hiring process on Wednesday.

Hooper is a political neophyte who has never sought elective office. But he told reporters after he was selected that he plans to run for the office in the 2020 election.