California Assemblywoman Pleads “No Contest” to Shoplifting
Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Castro Valley, pleaded no contest this afternoon in San Francisco Superior Court to a misdemeanor shoplifting charge.
After the plea, Hayashi declined comment, but her attorney, Doug Rappaport, said she had a brain tumor that affected her judgment the day of the shoplifting.
Hayashi was arrested in October on after leaving a San Francisco Neiman Marcus store without paying for a blouse, a skirt and a pair of leather pants worth a total of nearly $2,500. She has pleaded not guilty to the felony charge, which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison. Her spokesman has said that she intended to purchase the items, but became distracted by her cell phone and walked out of the store without paying.
According to the piece, the tumor is treatable, which is certainly good to know* but I must say, if her condition is such that it impairs her ability to shop, she should resign her position in the State Assembly (something which she has reportedly refused to do). She is, however, about to be term-limited out of office, making the issues ultimately moot, I suppose.
Still, I must confess: I find the defense to be a bit dubious.
*I have had two close friends (in their thirties) die of brain tumors, so I am especially sympathetic.