Rep. JoAnne Favors said state officials are going "overboard" on the issue of ethics in government.
Rep. Favors, who has been named to serve on a state ethics commission, said, "We already have a law that you're not supposed to take a bribe. That's why they arrested some folk."
She said of the ethics scramble since the FBI's Tennessee Waltz sting, "I think we are overreacting."
She said of the ethics panel, "I don't see a need for it even though I'm on it."
Rep. Favors said she has found Nashville lobbyists to be "brilliant people" that legislators can learn from.
She said, "Some of the lobbyists are my friends. You see them in the evening, and you have dinner with them because your family's not there."
Rep. Favors said she had requested an opinion on her serving as a health care consultant. She said it came back saying that would be a conflict of interest.
She said attorneys have an exemption on such conflicts, but not those in the health care business. She said, "I could practice in Georgia, Alabama or Mississippi, but not Tennessee."
The District 29 representative told the North Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce Tuesday that the focus on ethics has become so sharp that "I have gotten afraid even after taking a cup of coffee."
She said for legislators "in any job something may come along that some will say may be a conflict."