An upstate district attorney admitted that he had acted in pornographic films in the 1970s and lied about it when confronted with the fact during his recent reelection bid. Cortland County District Attorney Mark Suben, a Democrat, acknowledged at a Nov. 16 news conference that he had lied about his past and apologized for his actions, saying he used “bad judgment” by acting in porn and by recently denying it. A spokeswoman for Suben, who has been in office since 2008, said later that the district attorney will not resign.
WSTM-TV in Syracuse published an article on Nov. 16 saying that Suben had acted under his name and the pseudonym Gus Thomas while a struggling actor in New York City in the ’70s. That story followed a posting on YouTube comparing images of Suben and Thomas.
On his campaign website, Suben, who defeated defense attorney Keith Dayton on Nov. 6, says he practiced for several years for Wall Street law firms and seven more as an assistant district attorney in the Bronx before returning home to Central New York.
Dalton, a Republican, said he had heard rumblings about Suben’s past during the campaign, but did not know until the admission that the rumors were true. “I didn’t try to make it a campaign issue and if he had admitted it preelection I’m not sure it would have been a major issue,” Dalton said. “I don’t think he did anything illegal. The concern now is he lied about it.” Dalton said he lost the election by about 2,000 votes, with some 18,000 cast.