S.F. “political judge” Sandoval lets Assemblywoman Hayashi off the felony hook for shoplifting

Today Gerardo Sandoval, a partisan Democrat politician elected to the until now nonpartisan San Francisco Superior Court, by campaigning as a partisan Democrat, reduced Democrat Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi’s felony theft case to a misdemeanor in spite of the District Attorney’s previous position that the theft of $2,400 in clothing by Hayashi from the Union Square Neiman-Marcus was serious and should be treated as a felony.  Hayashi, who had previously been specifically excused from today’s court proceeding and was not expected to attend the hearing today, made a stealth appearance and quickly plead “no contest,” and was sentenced to three years probation and a small fine.  Taking the plea means Hayashi can now serve out her full term in the Assembly, as a felony conviction, which would have surely happened otherwise, would have required her to resign from the Assembly.

Hayashi’s and now Sandoval’s actions are symptomatic of an arrogance among Democratic politicians in California that they are in charge and that they can get away with just about anything, justice be damned.  In Sandoval’s case, the arrogance includes even apparent unethical ex parte communications in a criminal prosecution of a favored politician to coordinate a stealth visit in court to cop a plea.  A sleepy San Francisco media should be outraged.  Both Assemblywoman Hayashi’s actions (and “no contest” conviction) in stealing clothing from a California retail business, and Judge Sandoval’s actions in extending special favor to a fellow Democrat (whose husband is also an Alameda County Judge, just as Judge Sandoval’s wife is a professional political fundraiser for Democrats) serves to further undermine the confidence of Californians in their governmental institutions, including the impartiality of the judiciary.  Not just Hayashi, but her Judge Sandoval, should be ashamed of themselves.

Update:  Hayashi’s attorney claimed a “benign brain tumor” caused her shoplifting:

(Editor’s note: no actual evidence of a benign brain tumor, or its propensity to cause shoplifting, was ever entered into evidence in open court in the Hayashi case before her plea of “no contest” to the charges.  If any such benign tumor could have caused the Assemblywoman to shoplift, that allegedly exculpatory fact would have properly been submitted as an issue for a jury to decide, and Hayashi could be found “not guilty” by reason of a “shoplifting causing” benign brain tumor if a jury was convinced by the scientific evidence presented.  However, the “no contest” plea of Hayashi, coupled with the judge’s reduction of charges, now allows Hayashi to continue to serve in the Assembly regardless of the crime and avoids an actual test of her attorney’s unsupported excuse claim in court.)










Judge Sandoval and Governor Brown


  1. Levi Strauss says

    Bought and paid for, and I don’t mean the clothes.

    • James V. Lacy says

      The “benign brain tumor” claim also raises the question if Hayashi also has capacity to continue serving in the Assembly, don’t you think? If it sadly made her shoplift, how can she still make laws with it?

  2. Exactly! Maybe Sandpail has a tumor too?

  3. This is what you get when you put Demo/Liberal?Socialists in office. “They take care of their own”. So if you want to do some law breaking my adice is join the Democratic party, if you get caught no problem.

  4. I notice that the judge is elected (sign on phone pole). When election time comes around again, vote him out. Let these clowns know that we’re tired of their crap.

    • Patricia porter says

      Oh, if only things worked that way in CA. He’s in San Francisco. There aren’t enough Republicans there to get a dog catcher elected. The only litmus test is “Democrat? Check!”

  5. Ron Powell says

    This type of behavior is typical of the Democrats and extends all the way to Washington. Reminds me a lot of Mexico and that corrupt bunch of third world cronyism. It was probably all preplanned as far as the defense and the plea were concerned. The judge should be fired and the assemblywoman should be dismissed from serving in the assembly. This is what happens in California when our corrupt politicians from the Democratic party are the majority.

  6. AD-RtR/OS! says

    At Judge Sandoval’s retention election, or when he want to run for a higher office, this disgraceful affair should be shouted from the roof-tops.
    What a putz!

  7. The next time someone appears in Sandoval’s court with a theft of $2000 how will the judge rule, and did this case set a precedent for others to get off as easy?

  8. Typical Judge and elected person. You wipe my ass and I’ll wipe yours.

  9. Maybe the judge is really interested in a Sacramento Assembly seat. Judging by his decison regarding Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, sure looks like he is building future alliances; doesn’t it?

  10. BadJudge Badjudge says

    Sandoval is a judge that has no class. Biased and prejudiced for friends and against all others. He has violated due process for the accused that he was not friends with. This story does not suprise me in the least. Judge Steven White in Sacramento is a study in contrast to this Jerk Judge. Sandoval could only have gotten elected in SF.


  1. […] California Political Review’s Jim Lacy Assails “Political Judge” Gerardo Sandoval Re Convicted Thief Mary Hayashi Posted by Leslie Brodie ⋅ 2012/01/08 ⋅ Leave a Comment via capoliticalreview.com […]

Speak Your Mind