The lawyer for a California lawmaker sentenced to three years of probation for shoplifting said a benign brain tumor is responsible for his client trying to steal $2,500 in clothes from the Nieman Marcus in San Francisco.
Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi was arrested in October after surveillance cameras spotted her walking out the doors with unpaid merchandise, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Shortly after her arrest, a spokesman for the Democratic lawmaker said she was distracted by a ringing cell phone and forgot to pay for the clothing, which included leather pants, a white blouse and black skirt.
But after a court hearing Friday, attorney Douglas Rappaport offered a different explanation for his client's shoplifting: Hayashi was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor that was to blame for the incident.
"Now that Ms. Hayashi’s medical condition resulting in her arrest has been taken care of, she decided that she would resolve the case as well,” Rappaport said, according to an Associated Press report.
"It is being treated," he added. “It’s no longer affecting her concentration or her judgment."
On Friday, Hiyashi struck a deal with the court in which her charge was reduced from felony grand theft to a misdemeanor in exchange for changing her plea from not guilty to no contest.
Rappaport's explanation is still at odds with Hayashi's spokesman: Though he confirmed Hayashi has a tumor, Sam Singer told San Francisco ABC affiliate KGO-TV, "It did not play a role in her forgetfulness and distraction in accidentally walking out."
Prosecutors said the decision to reduce her charges was not due to either explanation, but because she was a first-time offender and admitted her guilt early on, according to KGO.
Hayashi was elected in 2006 and will be term limited out this year.