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New York District Attorney Admits Lying About Acting in Porn Movies

New York District Attorney Admits Lying About Acting in Porn Movies

An upstate New York district attorney who lied when questioned during his re-election campaign about being an actor in pornographic movies during the 1970s will not quit, despite public calls for his resignation and at least one expert’s view that he may have violated New York State Bar Association rules.

Democratic incumbent Mark D. Suben was re-elected in 2012 as district attorney for Cortland County, near Syracuse. During the campaign he was asked whether he had acted in adult films in the 1970s, and he denied having done so.

Suben accused his Republican opponent, Keith Dayton, of spreading false rumors in a smear campaign to discredit him.

However, WSTM-TV reported on November 17, 2012 that Suben had in fact acted in pornographic movies under his real name and the pseudonym Gus Thomas. An anonymous YouTube video compared images of Suben and Thomas, and presented other evidence.

Suben then decided to come clean.

“Recently, materials have circulated alleging that I was involved in the adult film industry about 40 years ago in New York. Those allegations are true,” Suben admitted in a news conference ten days after the election. “I was an actor in adult films for a short period in the early ‘70s. I was also an actor in other venues including off-Broadway, soap operas, and commercial advertisements.”

The post-election admission led to calls for Suben’s resignation, and legal expert Jonathan Turley said an “act of dishonesty used to secure a legal position” may constitute misconduct under New York State Bar Association rules.

Suben’s spokeswoman, Aimee Milks, said he would not resign. “I think the situation is really irrelevant to the campaign,” she said. “His record as the DA for the last four years speaks for itself.”

In November 2013 it was reported that Keith Dayton’s brother, Kevin, was the person who had uncovered Suben’s porn acting past, contacted the media and posted the YouTube video. Kevin Dayton said he did not reveal Suben’s past out of any allegiance to his brother, as they had been estranged for many years, nor did he have a vendetta against Suben.

“He’s always seemed like a good guy to me,” Kevin Dayton said. “Even now, I don’t necessarily think he should’ve resigned.” He indicated the issue was hearing a public official blatantly lie.

“It was like Ronald Reagan saying, ‘I wasn’t in Bedtime for Bonzo,’” Kevin noted. “It was annoying that someone would lie so bluntly and run for public office.”

Keith Dayton said he had no control over his brother’s actions and, in any case, was unconcerned with Suben’s participation in porn movies. “I think the more important part is the lying,” he stated, adding he plans to run for DA again in 2016.

“It’s ancient history to me,” Suben said of the controversy over his appearance in adult films. “It’s of no significance in my life. The issue is long since gone. It’s a thing that’s over, that’s quite completely over as far as I can determine.”

Sources: Huffington Post, Syracuse Post-Standard, www.cnycentral.com

 

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