California Lawmaker Pleads No Contest in Shoplift Case

January 7, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO –  A California lawmaker pleaded no contest Friday to stealing leather pants and other merchandise from a Neiman Marcus store in an incident her attorney blamed on a benign brain tumor.

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Castro Valley, entered the plea in San Francisco Superior Court after the judge reduced a theft charge against her from a felony to a misdemeanor at a prosecutor’s request.

Hayashi was arrested on Oct. 23 after surveillance cameras at the store at Union Square showed her walking out the doors with unpurchased merchandise in her shopping bag. She was accused of stealing nearly $2,500 worth of clothing.
After the plea, Judge Gerardo Sandoval immediately sentenced Hayashi to three years of probation, ordered her to pay $180 in fines and court costs, and told her to stay at least 50 feet away from the Neiman Marcus store.

Shortly after her arrest, a spokesman for Hayashi had explained that she was distracted by a cellphone call and forgot to pay for the merchandise.

Her attorney, Dennis Rappaport, said Friday that Hayashi was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor that contributed to the shoplifting incident.

“Now that Ms. Hayashi’s medical condition resulting in her arrest has been taken care of, she decided that she would resolve the case as well,” Rappaport said.

“Fortunately it’s something that is curable and it’s treatable,” he added. “It is being treated. It’s no longer affecting her concentration or her judgment.”

Rappaport did not immediately respond to a request for proof of Hayashi’s medical condition.

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