Legislator apologizes for shoplifting incident at Neiman Marcus
Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) offered a public apology Monday after pleading no contest last week to charges that she tried to shoplift $2,500 in clothes from the Neiman Marcus in San Francisco.
The lawmaker has stated that she simply forgot to pay for the items — which included a white blouse, black skirt and leather pants — because she was talking on her cellphone and got distracted. In a statement released by her office Monday, Hayashi said that although a benign brain tumor "may have complicated the situation," she takes full responsibility for the incident.
"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," she said in the statement. "I accept responsibility and I offer apologies, not excuses."
Hayashi said that she was "taking steps to deal with my health and continuing to work hard for my district and for the people of California.”
Last week, as part of a plea deal, a San Francisco Superior Court judge reduced the charges against the lawmaker 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 store on Union Square where the offense occurred.
Hayashi, who was elected in 2006 and will be forced from office this year by term limits, is married to Alameda County Superior Court Judge Dennis Hayashi. She chairs the Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection.
— Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento
Photo: Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) at the opening session of the Assembly. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press