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SAN FRANCISCO -- An attorney for Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi said today that his client suffers from a benign brain tumor that affected her judgment at the time of her shoplifting arrest.

Attorney Douglas Rappaport, who said Hayashi is now receiving treatment for the tumor, said the circumstances justified an agreement with prosecutors to drop felony grand theft charges filed by the San Francisco District Attorney to a misdemeanor.

Hayashi pleaded no contest to the reduced charge today, receiving three years probation and less than $200 in fines for leaving a San Francisco Nieman Marcus store without paying for nearly $2,500 in high-end clothing last October. She must stay more than 50 feet away from the Union Square store for the duration of her probation.

"Fortunately, it is something curable and is treatable. It is being treated and so it no longer is affecting her," said Rappaport, who said she was diagnosed prior to the incident.

The attorney prosecuting the case declined to comment. District Attorney George Gascon signaled earlier that his office would be willing to accept a reduced charge, saying he the totality of circumstances must be considered and that would support the direction of the court.

Hayashi, who has represented an Alameda County Assembly seat for three terms, declined to comment.


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