What's with state legislators who think they are above the law? Where does such amazing arrogance come from?
The cases of Assembly members Roger Hernandez, D-West Covina, and Mary Hayashi, D-Castro Valley, reveal strikingly similar patterns of behavior: When caught, deny wrongdoing, blame law enforcement and then, when the evidence is overwhelming, issue a halfhearted apology and hope folks forget.
That doesn't cut it.
Concord police last month spotted Hernandez in a state-issued car weaving and not using turn signals. He refused a Breathalyzer test and was given a field sobriety test. After his arrest, a blood test was taken.
His response: The police didn't have probable cause to stop him. He was perfectly fine to drive. The blood test will exonerate him.
They did. He wasn't. It didn't.
The new response: "I may have made a poor judgment thinking that I was sober enough to drive after a couple of drinks over the course of an evening."
May have? You used horrible judgment. Own up to it.
Only a couple of drinks? One doesn't have a 0.08 percent alcohol-blood ratio after just two drinks during an entire evening. You had more than that. Stop making excuses.
Then there's the apology "to my family, colleagues and staff for any embarrassment I may have caused." More weaseling with "may" language. And you're primarily concerned about the embarrassment?
What about the apology to residents of Concord, whose lives you endangered? And to the city's police, whom you unfairly slammed?
Finally, explain why a member of the Assembly health committee was caught at 2 a.m. driving around with a woman who is a Kaiser lobbyist. And why in a state car that was not supposed to be taken out of the Sacramento area?
Then there's Hayashi, the infamous Neiman Marcus shoplifter who must give up her seat at the end of the year because of term limits. We wish she would resign now and stay out of politics until she has successfully served her three years' probation and demonstrated real remorse.
After being caught after walking out with $2,450 of stolen clothes, she asserted that it was all a misunderstanding. It wasn't. The store was already watching her because of suspected past thefts.
She finally pleaded no contest but never accepted full responsibility despite her statement otherwise. Even after sentencing, she said it was an "unintentional" and "absent-minded error."
Now she's apparently been asking about a possible appointment to the vacancy on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors created when Nadia Lockyer resigned last week to deal with alcohol and chemical dependency.
Bad idea. The appointment should go to a caretaker with no interest in running in November. Former Supervisor Gail Steele is the logical choice. The supervisors should give no one an incumbency advantage for the next campaign.
Lockyer effectively bought the seat in 2010 with her husband's name and money. The last thing the county needs is another behind-the-scenes manipulation of the process.
Further, we certainly don't need to replace a recovering addict with a kleptomaniac.