Powerful California state Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi says a brain tumor contributed to her shoplifting $2,500 in clothing from a Neiman Marcus store, McClatchy Newspapers report. Hayashi’s attorney, Douglas Rappaport, said a brain tumor impaired her decision making but that it is being treated with medication and it no longer affects her. Medical experts said it would be very rare for a brain tumor that does not require surgery to influence behavior so significantly.
“My gut feeling, as a constituent, is that it’s a BS excuse in order to get out of her crime,” said Brian Morrison, president of the Castro Valley Chamber of Commerce. Hayashi, 45, pleaded no contest to misdemeanor shoplifting. She was sentenced to three years of probation and nearly $200 in fines, but reduction of the charge from a felony makes her eligible to continue as a lawmaker. Hayashi said yesterday she had “unintentionally walked out of a store” with unpaid merchandise. “My medical condition may have complicated the situation,” Hayashi said. “However, I want to be clear that I take full responsibility for my actions.”