This story’s a few weeks old, but it’s still worth a look.
Mary Hayashi is a California Assemblywoman representing, among other communities, the one in which I presently reside. Her legislative accomplishments include the recent introduction of a bill that, if passed, would create the first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) specialty license plate for California. Can you believe Indiana beat us to it? But I digress.
Last October, Ms. Hayashi went trick-or-treating at the Needless Markups… er, Neiman Marcus in San Francisco. Well, treating herself anyway. To the tune of nearly $2500 in clothing. (Insert joke here about how at Neiman Marcus this constitutes two blouses and a cheap handbag, although in this case it was leather pants, a black skirt and white blouse.) There’s the possibility she’s done this before, by the way.
Anyway. Ms. Hayashi was apprehended. We’ll let the local paper take it from here (commentary mine):
Castro Valley Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi pleaded no contest Friday to charges that she tried to shoplift $2,445 in clothes from the Neiman Marcus store in San Francisco.
The no contest plea is key, as will be explained shortly.
As part of a plea deal, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Gerardo Sandoval reduced charges against Hayashi from felony grand theft to a misdemeanor at the request of the District Attorney’s Office.
Hmm. Let me try walking into Neiman Marcus with a Dale Earnhardt Jr. shirt on and try walking out with $2500 in merchandise. Think I’d get a request from the DA to drop the case down to a misdemeanor?
Hayashi initially pleaded not guilty to the felony charge and had been released on $15,000 bail.
But she changed her mind from the original “oopsies I simply forgot to pay for it” story to…
The 45-year old legislator was sentenced to three years’ probation and $180 in fines and ordered to stay at least 50 feet away from the store on Union Square.
Wait for it…
Hayashi’s attorney, Douglas Rappaport, told reporters the assemblywoman was receiving medication for a benign brain tumor that had been diagnosed before her arrest on Oct. 25.
Rappaport said the tumor was treatable and was no longer affecting her decision-making abilities.
See? Not her fault! VICTIM! Oh, and pleading no contest meant there would be no evidence presented in court, hence no need for her to prove she was suffering from a benign brain tumor causing her to pilfer. Which is pretty darn doubtful.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said his office would accept the judge’s decision. “She is a first-time offender. She has no criminal record,” he said.
Why, yes, she is a Democrat, why do you ask?
If she had been convicted of a felony, Hayashi would have lost her pay but not necessarily her job in the Legislature. Assembly rules do not say what happens if a lawmaker is convicted of a misdemeanor.
Probably have a statue erected in her honor.
Assembly Speaker John Perez said that he’s confident Hayashi will “continue to ably serve her constituents.”
We’re waiting for her to start, actually.
Hayashi apologized Monday in a written statement saying, “I accept responsibility and I offer apologies, not excuses. After a lifetime of public service, this has been a painful experience, but one of my own making.”
Well, no excuses except for the brain tumor for which no evidence has been presented.
Hayashi is in her second term representing the 18th Assembly District.
And I’m so excited to live in it. NoreallyImeanthat.
Oh, due to term limits she’ll be out of the Assembly in 2014. At that time she’s planning on running for state Senate.
Pray for me.