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Van Zandt County commissioners choose new sheriff after Hendrix resignation

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Published: May. 9, 2022 at 4:08 PM CDT|Updated: May. 9, 2022 at 9:51 PM CDT
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CANTON, Texas (KLTV) - A new sheriff has been named in Van Zandt County following the resignation of Sheriff Steve Hendrix.

Sgt. Joe Carter, who has worked at the county courthouse as well as the sheriff’s office throughout his career, has been named sheriff by the commissioners court, who met in emergency executive session on Monday, May 9 to make the decision on a replacement for Hendrix. They left executive session and announced it to those who were in attendance in the court Monday afternoon.

“My mother’s family is from here originally but I’ve been here through the years. Went to junior college here. At one point I was stationed as a state game warden here from 1989 ‘til 1996. Lived here on and off through then, different points I worked for Parks and Wildlife for 30 years, game warden retired from them in 2015, I was in Austin then,” Carter said.

Following that retirement, he moved back to East Texas.

“Moved back home and been living here full time since then,” he said. “Came to work for the sheriff’s office here in 2017, working here at the courthouse and since last summer, I still have a reserve commission with the sheriff’s office since last summer I’ve held a reserve commission, and now I’ve been doing facility management here for the county, for the buildings and grounds.”

“There’s several things, first I want to say thank you for the trust of the commissioners court here for Van Zandt County and for the citizens for giving me the opportunity to come serve,” Carter said.

The District Attorney told us former Sheriff Steve Hendrix’s resignation was part of a plea agreement between his lawyer and the DA’s office. Hendrix, a chief deputy, and a sergeant had been accused of lying in a Texas Rangers’ investigation over excessive force.

Moving forward, Carter wants those in Van Zandt County to know, “Looking forward to people’s support, getting to know the sheriff’s office here. We’re here to serve them and it’s just an honor to get to come to work here, serve in this role. It’s home,” Carter said.

Hendrix resigned following a March indictment on a charge of Class B misdemeanor false statement to a peace officer. His last day in office will be May 14.

Van Zandt County commissioners appoint Joe Carter as new sheriff
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