After shoplifting plea, lawmaker seeks another office


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A California lawmaker who pleaded no contest earlier this year to shoplifting charges is seeking another elected office.

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) will hold a fundraiser Wednesday night in the Bay Area for her campaign for Alameda County supervisor.


The termed-out lawmaker, who was arrested last year on charges of trying to shoplift $2,500 in clothes from the Neiman Marcus in San Francisco, is running for the seat formerly held by Nadia Lockyer, who resigned from the Board of Supervisors in April amid revelations of an affair and drug addiction.

Hayashi told the San Jose Mercury News that voters would look past the shoplifting incident, which she has characterized as an honest mistake. 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.

As part of a plea deal, a San Francisco County 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 to the Assembly in 2006, is married to Alameda County Superior Court Judge Dennis Hayashi. She heads the Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection.


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— Michael J. Mishak in Sacramento