Shoplifting case involving state assemblywoman returns to court

The shoplifting case involving state Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi will return to court Tuesday for the first time since she pleaded not guilty last month to trying to steal about $2,500 worth of clothing from a Neiman Marcus store in San Francisco.

Hayashi, D-Hayward, was arrested on Oct. 25 after a security officer at the Union Square store stopped her because she was leaving the store with three items worth $2,445 that she hadn't paid for, prosecutors said.

The 45-year-old assemblywoman pleaded not guilty to a felony grand theft charge on Oct. 27 and was released on $15,000 bail.

Hayashi's spokesman Sam Singer said the incident was “a mistake and misunderstanding,” saying that she carries two cellphones and was texting and phoning with a bag in her hands and inadvertently stepped outdoors.

The case is returning to San Francisco Superior Court Tuesday to set a date for a preliminary hearing.

Hayashi was elected in 2006 to represent the 18th Assembly District, which includes Hayward, Castro Valley, Dublin and Pleasanton. She is a member of the leadership team for Assembly Speaker John Perez, serving as chair of the Assembly Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection.

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