SORM Mourns Passing of Former Senior Liaison Officer

Paul Harris, former Senior Liaison Officer for the State Office of Risk Management, passed away Sunday morning, January 26, 2020 after a battle with cancer. Mr. Harris retired on May 31, 2019, after more than 30 years of service to the state of Texas.

Stephen Vollbrecht, Executive Director of the State Office of Risk Management, made the announcement to staff in an email on Sunday, calling Mr. Harris a colleague, mentor, counselor, and friend. “Words cannot express the loss I feel, or the depths of my gratitude for his friendship and service,” Mr. Vollbrecht wrote. “Paul was more to me, and to us, that can ever be described, and he will be deeply missed. All of us owe this man a debt of deep gratitude for the many sacrifices he made over the decades of service, and that he so willingly gave.”

Mr. Harris started his career with the state in 1971 as a legislative aide for Texas Senator Ronald W. Bridges. Paul continued his state service in numerous legislative positions in the Texas House and Senate, and also worked for the private sector as a paid advocate for business interests. He finished his career with the State Office of Risk Management serving more than 15 years as the agency’s legislative liaison.

Paul is survived by his wife, Somaia, and son and daughter, Charles and Christy. The family will be holding a private service this weekend. They will announce a celebration of life for Mr. Harris in Austin at a later date.