Ethics Explorer A Guide to the Financial Interests of Elected Officials

Rep. Patricia Harless District 126 (R-Spring)

Industry
Sales
Education
B.S., LeTourneau University
Spouse
Sam
Committees
  • Environmental Regulation (Chair)
  • State Affairs
Financial Statements

Sources of Income

  • Harless and her husband own a Houston auto dealership, Fred Fincher Motors.

  • Then-Gov. George W. Bush appointed her to the Texas Motor Vehicle Board in 1998. Gov. Rick Perry re-appointed her to the post, where she served until 2005.

  • She is the former vice president of Radam Inc., the holding company for Fincher Motors, and was a board member for SJH Real Estate, which holds the real estate for her auto dealership.

Property

  • Residence in Spring valued at $405,000

Analysis

  • In February 2012, Harless was one of 15 Republicans to receive an illegal contribution from the political action committee for Waste Control Specialists, which is owned by Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons. Harless returned the donation.

  • Harless has supported legislation that could potentially help used-car dealers. She sponsored SB 1035, vetoed by Perry in 2011, which would have set up more registration demands for title companies in an effort to weed out fraud in motor vehicle titling. SB 266, which she sponsored, and which was signed by the governor that same year, forces holders of liens on motor vehicles to provide notice to all former owners/lien-holders of a vehicle.

  • Harless and her husband were sued in 2013 by a former employee who claimed that he was abused by his colleagues at Fred Fincher Motors, saying he was tased “at least a dozen times” while working there. His colleagues recorded video of the pranks; the employee alleged that Harless' husband, the dealership's general manager, provided the taser, helped videotape it and refused to stop the abuse. Harless' husband called the suit frivolous