SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A state assemblywoman has been accused of stealing nearly $2,500 worth of merchandise from a San Francisco department store.

Mary Hayashi of Castro Valley was arraigned on Thursday in a San Francisco Superior Court on one felony theft charge. Hayashi was arrested after allegedly stealing the merchandise from the Neiman Marcus store in Union Square. She was reportedly caught on video surveillance and detained by store security.

Hayashi pleaded not guilty to the charge and will be back in court Nov. 15.

Hayashi, 45, is a Democrat and has served in the Assembly since 2006. She was re-elected in 2008 and 2010. She is married to Alameda Superior Court Judge Dennis Hayashi.

Hayashi spokesman Sam Singer called the incident “a mistake and misunderstanding.”

Singer said Hayashi carries two cell phones and was texting and phoning with a bag in her hands and inadvertently stepped outdoors.

“This was not an attempt at shoplifting,” he said. “The assemblywoman apologizes for the misunderstanding. She strongly believes in the justice system and hopes that this matter will be cleared up soon.”

Hayashi was born in South Korea and is the first Korean-American woman elected to the California state legislature.

Hayashi 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.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (18)
  1. Christine says:

    All politicians are corrupt, every single one of them….how can we trust our government when they lie, steal and cheat….my confidence in our government is non existant…

    1. adam says:

      Christine, your statement is so simplistic that it reveals how dim witted you are.

    2. Shell says:

      How can you say ALL politions are corrupt if you haven’t met all of them. I would no more make that generalization than would stating that everyone named Christine is narrow minded. Lets hold people accountable for who they are as an individual, not by race, sex, profession or station in life.

  2. Vergon says:

    Those Democrats,,,so law abiding, any bets she will get completely off in this charge? 1) she is married to a Superior Court judge 2) she is a Democrat 3) she is female and a minority 4) did I mention she is a Democrat 5) she was arrested and tried in San Francisco, nobody gets convicted in SF unless they commit a politically IN-correct crime.

    1. ugly kid joe says:

      vergon, you hit the nail on the head!

      oh, and dewfus, you’re the idiot ; )

  3. SFCARE says:

    American Express Never leave home without it! (sorry Folks but L.M.A.O!!!!!

  4. No excuse will be accepted here. says:

    About 15 years ago my girlfriend have me pick up 8 of her fur’s and mink’s at their storage inside Neiman’s here in the city. No store security followed me out. The agreement were just over the phone between my girlfriend Miss Johnson and the person in the fur department to release it over to me. It was just another chore for me then. They didn’t even ask me for my id. I guess good looks do help.

    1. proud_bay_man says:

      “my girlfriend have me pick up”
      “8 of her fur’s and mink’s”
      “The agreement were just over the phone”
      “to release it over to me”
      “was just another chore for me then”

      No excuse will be accepted here.

      Except excuses for extremely poor grammar.

      You should be careful throwing those stones.

      1. You must be related to the defendant if it bother you that much.t says:

        Man, what a picky motherXXXXXX!

  5. Philip Scharfy says:

    I was surprised the cloth-coat democrat was not caught shoplifting at a store like JC Penney, but rather was found lurking with the rich 1 per centers at rity Nieman Markus — but then I remembered the liberals instinctive need to steal steal from the rich and it all made sense.

    Do you suppose those phomies at PETA will screach at her for those kinky black leather pants?


    1. jimster says:

      probably not leather probably whale skin

  6. Donald Sandri says:

    Show us the video!!

  7. samuel P says:

    It would be best if she was honest and not make up lies about the incident. That is more concerning.

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