Gascon Says He Had Plenty Of Evidence To Prosecute Hayashi

ELECTION ‘12//ALCO SUPERVISOR DIST 2 | San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon reiterated Thursday morning his office had the goods on Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi following her then-felony shoplifting charge last year.

Appearing on KGO’s Ronn Owens radio program, Gascon said Hayashi showed intent to steal $2,450 worth of apparel from a Neiman Marcus at Union Square in San Francisco before she was nabbed Oct. 25, 2011 by police.

“We don’t take cases to court unless we believe we have evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Gascon told the caller inquiring about Hayashi’s infamous arrest. “In the case of Ms. Hayashi, we had plenty of evidence to prove the case to a reasonable doubt.” Hayashi later plead to a misdemeanor in early January.

When Gascon was asked by the caller whether his office would have prosecuted the case without evidence Hayashi had intended to steal the good, he said, “No, absolutely not.”

In the aftermath of her conviction and her current run for Alameda County Board of Supervisors this fall, Hayashi has apologized for the transgression, but has also characterized the incident as an “honest mistake.”

During her run to replace former Supervisor Nadia Lockyer, Hayashi has told The Citizen on numerous occasions she believes District 2 voters in the Hayward and Tri Cities areas are more interested in reviving the economy and funding local services than the shoplifting incident that has so bedeviled her political career. In fact, she referenced other politicians who have made comebacks from similarly self-inflicted wounds after a forum earlier this month in Union City.

State Sen. Leland Yee’s 1992 arrest for allegedly stealing a bottle of tanning oil from a store in Hawaii, said Hayashi, was eventually forgiven by voters and she believes voters will do the same.

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