December 27, 2008


Suben sworn in as district attorney

SubenJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
With his wife Susan at his side, Mark Suben is sworn in as district attorney Friday by Judge Fran Casullo, left, at the Cortland County Courthouse.

Staff Reporter

Incoming District Attorney Mark Suben received a rousing standing ovation Friday after pledging to uphold his campaign promises, when he was sworn in for the four-year term that begins Jan. 1.
“I made a lot of promises during my campaign and you believed the message and trusted me to fulfill the promises,” Suben said after being administered the oath of office by Cortlandville Town Justice Fran Casullo.
Suben vowed to be a “fair, intelligent D.A.” who will serve the best interests of the people and protect the children of Cortland County.
Suben, 65, a Democrat, defeated Republican incumbent David Hartnett in November by about six percentage points as he claimed 53 percent of the vote to Hartnett’s 47 percent. The contentious race was hinged on Hartnett’s record, with Suben claiming he would be a more effective prosecutor for the county.
Suben will cede his post as county attorney and leave his private defense practice he has operated in Cortland since 2002 for the district attorney seat, which carries an annual salary of approximately $119,800.
Suben’s past prosecutorial experience in the Bronx and Onondaga counties from 1988 to 1995 includes a win in a Bronx murder case against prominent defense attorney William Kunstler. Suben served in the Bronx special victims unit, which specialized in domestic, juvenile and sex offenses. He worked for Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick from 1992 to 1995.
Suben’s other experience includes being acting City Court judge, city corporation counsel and county attorney, a seat he has held since Jan. 1, 2008.
After Friday’s ceremony, Suben told the large audience in the county courtroom, that change is coming.
“And you’re going to like it,” he added.
Although Suben will not officially become district attorney until midnight Jan. 1, he wanted to be sworn in in advance so there would be no gap between Hartnett’s term and his own.
“I needed to be ready to go at 12:01 a.m. and I didn’t feel that was appropriate for a New Years day ceremony because that would leave the county without a D.A. for ... however long,” Suben said.
After the swearing in Suben celebrated with a reception for his supporters at his home at 90 Tompkins St.
“I wanted to have the ceremony and a reception for the people who helped us,” Suben said.


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