After avoiding questions about her shoplifting for months, Mary Hayashi gives an interview to the Mercury News in which she acknowledges that she is, indeed, running for Alameda County supervisor and says she expects voters to forgive her. “My opponents may use the issue to try to smear me, but I trust the voters to be smarter than that,” she tells reporter Josh Richman.
The disgraced Castro Valley Democrat, who is termed out of her state Assembly seat at the end of the year, is disavowing hers and her lawyer’s previous explanation that her taking more than $2,400 worth of merchandise from Neiman Marcus on Union Square last year may have been partly attributable to a benign brain tumor.
She says it’s “too bad” her lawyer mentioned the tumor to reporters, and insists her health is fine. Despite her “no contest” plea as part of a plea bargain to reduce the shoplifting charges from a felony to a misdemeanor, she now says she inadvertently walked out of the store with the merchandise and had intended to pay for it. She’s on probation for three years, and is banned from reentering Neiman Marcus.
From the Mercury News:
Hayashi said she had been distracted by a phone call when she left with the unpaid items. "Of course, I intended to pay for them," she said. "But I accept responsibility and offer apologies, not excuses."
She said it's "too bad" her lawyer had mentioned the tumor to reporters because "my health was certainly not a factor in anything that happened." Her tumor is benign, common and easily treated with medicine, she added: "My health is just fine."