mary hayashi pleads no contest in shoplifting

Last week in San Francisco County Superior Court, California Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, who was arrested in October for shoplifting, pleaded no contest to the charges: Assemblywoman pleads no contest in shoplifting.

Hayashi was caught trying to steal nearly $2,500 in clothing from Neiman Marcus. As part of a plea deal, the charges were reduced from felony grand theft to a misdemeanor. She was sentenced to three years' probation and $180 in fines, and required to stay at least 50 feet from the Union Square store.

So why did she do it? According to Hayashi's attorney, she had been diagnosed with a benign brain tumor and was taking medication that might have influenced her thieving behavior:
Hayashi's attorney, Douglas Rappaport, said the assemblywoman was receiving medication for a benign brain tumor, which he said had been diagnosed before the incident at Neiman Marcus. He said medical experts had advised the defense that the tumor could have affected her behavior.

"It is being treated, so it is no longer affecting her concentration and her judgment," Rappaport said.

Hayashi declined requests for an interview.

Stillman said Hayashi's medical condition was not behind prosecutors' decision to drop the felony charge, and that her attorney had never addressed it in court.

"Her defense attorney never said that on the record," Stillman said. "Her condition never factored into our decision."
So where does that leave the Assemblywoman? She will be leaving office this year and can't run for re-election because of term limits. But I can't imagine misdemeanor grand theft being very good for her future political career. More here: East Bay lawmaker Hayashi pleads no contest in shoplifting incident.

UPDATE: In her first public statement since the incident, Mary Hayashi has issued an apology: Mary Hayashi apologizes in midst of shoplifting scandal.

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