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hayashimugshot.JPGThe San Francisco Police Department has released a booking photo of Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi from her arrest last month on a felony grand theft charge.

The 45-year-old Castro Valley Democrat appears disheveled in the photo, a far cry from her fashionable appearance on the Assembly floor during her five years as a legislator.

Hayashi has pleaded not guilty to the felony charge of stealing nearly $2,500 in clothing - leather pants, a black skirt and white blouse - from a San Francisco Neiman Marcus store last month.

Hayashi is not expected to appear for further proceedings in San Francisco Superior Court on Dec 7, when a preliminary hearing is scheduled to be set.

A preliminary hearing will determine whether evidence is sufficient for Hayashi to face trial on the charge.

Hayashi, who will be termed out of the Assembly next year, was stopped outside Neiman Marcus by store security officers, who recovered the clothing and booked it into evidence.

Through spokesman Sam Singer, Hayashi has said she was distracted by using a cellphone while shopping inside Neiman Marcus and mistakenly stepped outside, where she was stopped before she could correct her error.

Prosecutors have said that Hayashi walked away from the store, however, before she was detained by store security officers.

Maximum sentence is three years in prison for grand theft, but first-time offenders typically do not receive such stiff sentences.

Hayashi, chairwoman of the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumers Protection Committee, remains eligible to serve as an assemblywoman while court proceedings continue.



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