SAN FRANCISCO — The attorney said Friday a California lawmaker was diagnosed with a brain tumor that caused a shoplifting incident.
Democratic Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi pleaded no contest Friday to a misdemeanor count of grand theft in San Francisco Superior Court.
"Now that Ms. Hayashi's medical condition resulting in her arrest has been taken care of, she decided that she would resolved the case as well," defense attorney Douglas Rappaport said.
The charge stemmed from her October arrest after authorities said surveillance cameras at the Neiman Marcus store at Union Square showed her walking out the doors with unpurchased clothing in her shopping bag.
She was accused of stealing nearly $2,500 worth of items, including leather pants.
Rappaport said the tumor that played a part in the shoplifting was found to be benign, and his client is being treated for it.
Hayashi, 44, previously pleaded not guilty to a felony charge. A judge agreed to reduce the charge at the Friday hearing.
She was immediately sentenced to 3 years of probation and a small fine.
Like many returning lawmakers, she was greeted earlier this week with hugs from her colleagues at the start of the new session of the Legislature but did not speak during the Assembly session or to reporters and camera crews clustered near her desk.
Assembly rules do not say what happens after a conviction for a misdemeanor, though someone could file a complaint with the Assembly's Special Committee on Legislative Ethics that might prompt unspecified sanctions.
Hayashi is married to Alameda County Superior Court Judge Dennis Hayashi. She has represented Castro Valley since 2006 but can't run for re-election because she is termed out of office after this year.