State Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Hayward, has been charged with felony grand theft for allegedly shoplifting about $2,500 worth of clothing from the Neiman Marcus store in San Francisco's Union Square, a prosecutor said Friday.
Hayashi, 45, was arraigned in San Francisco Superior Court on Thursday and is scheduled to return to court on Nov. 15 to set a date for a preliminary hearing, according to San Francisco District Attorney spokesman Omid Talai.
She pleaded not guilty and is free on $15,000 bail.
A Neiman Marcus security officer stopped Hayashi at about 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday because she was leaving the store with three items worth $2,445 that she hadn't paid for, Talai said.
Hayashi and her spokeswoman weren't immediately available for comment, nor was her attorney, Douglas Rappaport.
Hayashi was elected to the California State Assembly in November 2006, representing the 18th Assembly District, which includes Hayward, Castro Valley, Dublin and Pleasanton.
Her website says, "She is an award-winning author and is among this country's most accomplished advocates for expanding the delivery and coverage of health care" and health care has been her top priority since she came to the Legislature.
According to her website, 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.
Hayashi also serves on the Assembly Health Committee and is chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Community Colleges. She is also vice chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus.