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2. Downtown Lunch

Mary, a lobbyist, asks Steve, a legislative liaison in the executive branch, to go to lunch at a popular restaurant near the Legislative Plaza to talk about pending legislation.  Mary pays for the lunch; Steve’s portion of the bill is $15.  Is there a problem here?

  • Steve must pay Mary back because he is an official in the executive branch and is prohibited from accepting gifts from lobbyists.
  • The lunch is permitted because it was less than $59.
  • The lunch is permitted because Steve and Mary were discussing business.
  • The lunch is permitted because they eating in a public setting.
- Correct!
- Incorrect!
- Incorrect!
- Incorrect!

The correct answer is (a).

TCA § 3-6-305(a)(1) expressly provides that an official in the executive branch may not accept a gift from a lobbyist.  “Official in the executive branch” includes any employee of any executive department or agency or other state body in the executive branch.  TCA §3-6-20-301(20).

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