Pierce Harris candidate fined for campaign finance violation

Josh Harris, a Tacoma construction company owner who is running for Pierce County Board, was fined $250 by the state's Public Disclosure Commission for failing to file a personal financial statement required.

Josh Harris, a Tacoma construction company owner who is running for Pierce County Board, was fined $250 by the state’s Public Disclosure Commission for failing to file a personal financial statement required.

Courtesy of Josh Harris

A candidate for Pierce County Council was found guilty Thursday of violating campaign finance laws during a hearing conducted by the state Public Disclosure Commission in Olympia.

The PDC said Josh Harris, who registered with the PDC on March 17 to run as a Republican for Pierce County Council’s District 7 headquarters, did not submit a statement of personal financial affairs (report F -1) on time. Applicants are required to file F-1 reports within two weeks of filing with the PDC.

Harris, whose platform focuses on law enforcement issues, was ordered to pay a $250 fine. Half of that fine will be suspended if Harris files the F-1 report and pays at least $125 of his fine within 30 days, said PDC deputy director Kim Bradford.

The verdict won’t affect Harris’ ability to run for office, but fines will increase in the future if he fails to file properly again. In the PDC complaint filed by Dave Churchman on June 2, he noted that at the time of filing, Harris had still not filed an F-1 report.

“Josh Harris over the past month has been the subject of several articles in the Pierce and King County media (print, television and radio) on several issues of concern to the public. Issues included public safety and finances,” the complaint states.

On June 3, Harris sent a reply to the PDC who said he had “contacted Connor, my accountant and we will send you the completed F1 form and all documents over the weekend. This is the first time I have run for office and learned the procedures. My excuses.”

Harris is no stranger to media coverage.

Earlier this year, Harris shot a homeless man in Tacoma after alleging the man stole property from him. The man survived and was arrested and sentenced after being treated for his injuries. The investigation was later closed and no charges were brought against Harris.

Prior to that, Harris made headlines for posting $300,000 bail to the three officers who killed Manuel Ellis.

Harris also has a criminal history, according to Pierce County Superior Court records.

In 1991, he was convicted of first degree possession of stolen property. In 1992, he was convicted of second degree possession of stolen property. The following year, he was convicted of first-degree robbery.

In 2002, Harris pleaded guilty to first degree theft, a Class B felony, for altering checks he received as payment from a nightclub where he worked in maintenance. He took over $24,000 from the company.

And In 2008, the candidate was charged with two flight leaders in the first degree and was ordered to pay restitution. Harris, who had reported two jet skis stolen, was later seen with those same jet skis, after failing to report them found. His insurance paid him $15,635 for the loss of the jet skis while he kept them on a relative’s property at Fox Island.

Harris is one of five candidates vying for the District 7 seat representing Gig Harbor, the Key Peninsula, Fox Island and parts of north and west Tacoma.

This story was originally published July 22, 2022 11:18 a.m.

Shauna Sowersby was a freelancer for several local and national publications before joining McClatchy’s North West Newspapers covering the Legislative Assembly.