State Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-18th), who represents much of Pleasanton, pleaded no contest Friday to a misdemeanor charge of shoplifting at a Neiman Marcus store in San Francisco's Union Square and was sentenced to three years probation.
The state legislator, who is in her third and final term in the state Assembly, had initially pleaded not guilty to a felony grand theft charge after her arrest on Oct. 25 at the store at 150 Stockton St. and was released on $15,000 bail.
A security guard had stopped Hayashi with items worth $2,445 that she hadn't paid for, according to prosecutors. The merchandise was leather pants, a black skirt and a white blouse.
Hayashi, 45, appeared in court this afternoon and changed her plea after the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor. She was sentenced to three years of court probation and ordered to stay 50 feet away from that Neiman Marcus store. She was also ordered to pay $180 in fines and fees.
Hayashi's defense attorney Douglas Rappaport said outside of court that the assemblywoman has a benign brain tumor that may have impacted her decision-making abilities.
Rappaport said the tumor is curable and treatable and "is no longer affecting her concentration or her judgment."
The information about the tumor was "recently" presented to prosecutors, he said.
Hayashi issued the following statement Monday:
"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."
Hayashi, whose district includes part of Pleasanton, Hayward, Castro Valley and Dublin, has served in the State Assembly since 2006. She is married to Alameda Superior Court Judge Dennis Hayashi, who was elected in 2008.