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Assemblywoman sentenced to 3 years probation for shoplifting

Original post made on Jan 17, 2012

State Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-18th), who represents much of Pleasanton, pleaded no contest Jan. 6 to a misdemeanor charge of shoplifting at a Neiman Marcus store in San Francisco's Union Square and was sentenced to three years probation. She issued an apology Monday, saying she had intended to pay for the items.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, January 13, 2012, 12:00 AM

Comments (19)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joanie
a resident of Castlewood
on Jan 17, 2012 at 10:26 am

Her real punishment is knowing what people are talking about, behind her back


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 17, 2012 at 12:39 pm

"I accept responsibility and I offer apologies, not excuses."

Well, the way to "accept responsibility" for admitting to an attempted theft is to resign from public office. If she wanted to contest the charges by pleading innocent and looking forward to her day in court, then I don't think that she would necessarily have to resign. But now that she has effectively pled guilty, she needs to leave public office. Doing that would be "accepting responsibility". I'll be writing to Mary Hayashi's office urging her to do the responsible thing, and I hope that others will do so as well.


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Maybe PW can enlighten us as to why this criminal's mug shot was never published. In all other articles that involved criminal activity and subsequent arrest by the police, mug shots have accompanied the story. It is not only PW but all in-state news outlets have only run official photographs of Mary Hayashi. the only mug shot I have seen is from a national news network. The mug shot is definitely not flattering.

Is the Democratic party so powerful that it can threaten California news networks with retaliation, as in prohibiting access to political figures and activities, if they run photographs or stories that have not been approved by the party line?


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Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jan 17, 2012 at 3:13 pm

I like the Chronicle's editorial, which agrees with what many posters have said: Web Link


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Kathleen - the Chronicle's news piece proved my point. The picture of Mary Hayashi is an official photograph of her in the assembly chamber at the state Capitol. For any private citizen the accompanying picture would have been their mug shot.

Your silence on this is deafening Pleasanton Weekly.


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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Jan 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm

"I like the Chronicle's editorial, which agrees with what many posters have said"

Another good Chronicle story is here (Web Link). It includes some professional medical insight on the "benign tumor" excuse through a professor of neurological surgery at UC Davis who says that a large tumor pressing on the frontal lobe which affected a person's behavior would require surgery, not medication. Furthermore, the professor said that such a tumor might affect one's personality, but not their judgement.

Looks like Hayashi and her lawyer weaseled out of this one. It wouldn't be so bad if she just used the "benign tumor" excuse to resign and quietly disappear from public view. But, no, it seems that this benign tumor problem magically disappears right after the case is settled so now she can go right back to work in public office.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Zadie
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jan 18, 2012 at 9:42 am

This wouldn't have happened if a Republican had been in office.


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Posted by Assembly District resident
a resident of Foothill High School
on Jan 18, 2012 at 12:28 pm

For anyone who missed it, the Contra Costa Times wrote a editorial saying that Mary Hayashi should resign.

Web Link

Mary Hayashi is trying to have it both ways. In her so called apology she says "I accept responsibility and I offer apologies, not excuses"

Then, in the next paragraph she gives all her excuses.

#1. She says, "There were a number of personal factors that led to the situation where I made this absentminded error." You see, she is still trying to label this a "absent minded error" rather than a planned crime. A crime of her choice, not something that occurs because you overlooked something.

To continue on this point, Mary further removes herself from anything beyond mere day to day absentmindedness that we all might do. Look at how she compared it in her first paragraph.

"Of course, I intended to purchase what I had, but I didn't. Losing track of how fast you are driving is no excuse for speeding. And losing track of clothing I was purchasing is no excuse for walking out of a store without paying."

See folks, stealing $2,500 worth of merchandise is just like the rest of us driving 45 mph in a 35 mph zone.
Remember Mary said "I offer apologies, not excuses"

#2. The brain tumor. Knowing she would have been laughed out of court with this excuse, she never revealed it to the public until she was leaving the court after admitting guilt. Then, through her lawyer, who was at her side, we for the first time are told it was caused by a brain tumor.

Days later, when everyone in the world is laughing at her excuse, she suddenly backpedals and does a halfway retraction of the brain tumor excuse.

But only a halfway retraction. You see, Mary still knows a few people out there will buy the brain tumor story and feel sympathetic. So Mary plays tricks in the wording of her apology.

Remember, this is Mary who is saying "I offer apologies, not excuses"

She then says..."My medical condition may have complicated the situation, however I want to be clear that I take full personal responsibility for my actions. I want to assure you that I am taking steps to deal with my health"

Again, Mary trying to have it both ways, saying she is not offering excuses, then proceeding to give NOTHING but excuses.

Again, the main excuses are #1. absentmindedness, and #2. brain tumor.

Mary has yet to explain why she walked into the store with a extra bag, the very same bag she used to conceal and steal the merchandise she stole.
Additionally, Mary has failed to explain why her brain tumor and absentmindedness ALLOWED her to pay for the inexpensive merchandise she got, while failing to REMIND her to pay for the very expensive luxury goods she concealed and stole.

A very selective brain tumor and absentmindedness. Ignores the high end stuff while being very attentive to the paying for cheap goods.

What about the BAG Mary, What about the BAG? Why did you bring it into the store in the first place?

Now, you see why Mary didn't dare face a prosecutor in court.
Her excuses would have been shredded.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jan 18, 2012 at 6:53 pm

the court has ruled...time to movon.com....duh...


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Posted by District resident
a resident of Foothill High School
on Jan 18, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Hey Cholo, how goes it...

She admitted her guilt only in court.
However, ever since she walked out the door of the courtroom she has been spreading another story. A false story.

First, she walks out the door of the court, arm in arm with her attorney, smiling and even laughing (as seen on TV).
Immediately she allows her attorney to say a brain tumor caused her to commit the crime. The felony grand theft for which she was arrested.

4 days later, with everyone in town laughing about the "brain tumor" excuse, she then resorts to option #2...but to still keep the "brain tumor" out there as a partial cause.

Her new fall-back excuse is the "absent minded error" ploy.

So sure, the court has ruled, and as soon as Mary stops making absurd excuses, then we'll move on.
However Mary seems to want to keep pushing the "I'm not REALLY guilty" story. She wants everyone to ignore the true facts.
I'll bet 98% of the people in the district would view the security video if it were made available.

But anyway, Cholo, good to see you're reading.

BTW, I'm wondering, in June, around graduation time, do you think any of the high schools or middle schools in Mary's district would even think about inviting her as a commencement speaker? You know, as a role model with good advice. And if she can't even speak before children, then how can she chair a major assembly committee?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tim
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 18, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I'm a proud liberal Democrat....I won't be voting for her ever again!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Scott Walsh
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jan 19, 2012 at 9:25 am

I hear alot she's "scum" and I think she is, that she should resign but she won't, and alot of other talk but where does it translate into taking action? Recall? That is where everything fails. All talk and no ACTION. "No Time" people say to get involved and that is also why we fail. Great excuse but when does something really matter to the Public? Keep yakking. Nothing personal here, just raising a point. Nothing personal except Mary is a thief without morals who dreamed up another "Twinkies" story and got away with it. San Francisco, go figure.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Claudette
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Committing a Crime, should be Automatic Expulsion from Any/All Official Government Positions ~ Paid positions or Non Paying Positions ~ Period. Exclamation Point!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mary
a resident of Gatewood
on Jan 19, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Thank you for posting this piece. I'm glad to see those outside of the district are writing solid stories. I just wish they run them in her district too.

To the person suggesting a recall, it's not reasonable because even on the fastest track, the process takes time and she terms out at the end of this term. She will term out before a recall can take place.


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Posted by long time parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm

A recall does send a great message and could make it easier for somebody else to run against her.

If you Democrats really want to do something, contact the Democratic Central Committee for the area and let the representatives know that the Democrat Party should not be assisting or endorsing Hayashi in any future campaigns and they need to find another Democrat to run against her and put all the effort behind that. If the Democratic Central Committee assists Hayashi in anyway, they are endorsing her behavior and that sends a strong message.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by District resident
a resident of Foothill High School
on Jan 19, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Since Mary Hayashi's arrest for felony grand theft shoplifting, she has said only 2 words in public about that matter "no contest" as she addressed the judge. Essentially admitting to the crime, though to charges lowered to a misdemeanor in a arranged plea agreement.

"no contest", not much to go on?

However, she also issued a statement, which some call a apology and some call a list of excuses.
Since the full and complete statement appeared only in a non-Bay Area newspaper in its proper order and context, perhaps some here would like to read it in full.

Pay very close attention to the wording. You can be sure that Mary, her attorney, her advisers, and her hired PR crisis manager Sam Singer, all chose every word carefully. See what you think of each carefully chosen paragraph. Where Mary is trying to lead the reader in their reasoning?

-------------------------------------------------------------
"After a lifetime of public service, this has been a painful experience…but one of my own making. The simple fact is I unintentionally walked out of a store with items I had not paid for. Of course, I intended to purchase what I had, but I didn't. Losing track of how fast you are driving is no excuse for speeding. And losing track of clothing I was purchasing is no excuse for walking out of a store without paying.
I accept responsibility and I offer apologies, not excuses. I want to thank my family, constituents and colleagues for the support and patience they have given me during this very difficult personal time.
There were a number of personal factors that led to the situation where I made this absentminded error. My medical condition may have complicated the situation, however I want to be clear that I take full personal responsibility for my actions. I want to assure you that I am taking steps to deal with my health and continuing to work hard for my district and for the people of California."
-----------------------------------------------------------


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lose License
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 20, 2012 at 8:58 am

If a realtor commits and found quilty of a theft, they lose their state license. All licenses are lost when crimes are committed. Why do politicians stay in office ? ?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by GX
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 20, 2012 at 9:07 am

It seems clear so far with Hayashi's actions during/after this event that she does not have the moral compass to do what is right and resign. She will continue to play along and hope that the general public forgets about this event.

We will be the fools and deserve the government we get if we vote her into her next public office. We still have a choice. Will we have the moral compass to do what is right?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by District resident
a resident of Foothill High School
on Jan 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm

In case you don't get the CC Times or the sister newspapers, or the others from Oakland to Fremont, here are two links to the many letters that appeared on Saturday, the 21st.

Times Saturday Forum: Letter writers want Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Castro Valley, to resign

Web Link

or the other group

Web Link

See what the readers think about Mary's explanations.
I don't get he feeling that these letters are all from Republicans.
In fact, when talking to others in the community, 70% of whom are Democrats, I find that about 8 of 10 want her to resign, and about 9 out of 10 never want her to run for another office.




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