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California lawmaker gets probation in shoplifting case

January 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A California lawmaker has been sentenced for a shoplifting charge that her attorney blamed on a brain tumor.

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi pleaded no contest to a grand theft charge in San Francisco. The judge fined Hayashi and sentenced her to three years probation.

The Castro Valley Democrat is accused of stealing $2,500 of clothing from a Neiman Marcus store at Union Square on Oct. 23.

She entered the plea in San Francisco Superior Court Friday after the judge reduced a theft charge against her from a felony to a misdemeanor at a prosecutor's request.

"She admitted that she made a mistake, and today she is accepting the consequences of that mistake," said Ross Warren, a spokesman for Hayashi, adding that her condition "can lead to some absentmindedness."

Warren said that Hayashi was distracted by her cellphone and forgot to pay for the merchandise. He also said she has no plans to resign from office.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.