Atlantic City mayor, wife charged with abusing and assaulting teenage daughter

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small and his wife were charged Monday with abusing and assaulting their teenage daughter on multiple occasions, including hitting her in the head with a broom and knocking her unconscious.

The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office said it filed charges against both parents of endangering the welfare of a child.

Marty Small also was charged with making terroristic threats; aggravated assault, and simple assault. La’Quetta Small was additionally charged with three separate counts of simple assault.

The prosecutor's office said in a news release that “the defendants physically and emotionally abused their 15/16-year-old-daughter on multiple occasions” in December 2023 and January 2024.

It said that in one incident, Marty Small is alleged to have hit his daughter multiple times in the head with a broom, causing her to lose consciousness. He also is accused of punching his daughter in the legs multiple times, leaving bruises, and threatening to throw her down a staircase and “smack the weave out of her head,” the release said.

LaQuetta Small, who is Atlantic City's superintendent of schools, is accused of punching her daughter multiple times in the chest, leaving bruises, and punching her in the mouth during a separate argument. LaQuetta Small also is accused of dragging her daughter by the hair, and striking her with a belt on her shoulders, leaving marks, according to the prosecutor's office.

Reached by telephone, Small declined comment. He referred a reporter to his lawyer Ed Jacobs, who emphasized that the charges do not involve public corruption or any impropriety in the mayor's discharge of his official duties.

Instead, they involve “a private family matter, including the challenges that Mayor Small and his wife have dealt with raising a teenage daughter," Jacobs said.

The attorney would not address the substance of the charges regarding the couple's interactions with their daughter. But said she has not been removed from their home.

“This is an intact family,” Jacobs said. “She's right where she belongs."

The president and vice president of the Atlantic City Board of Education did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment Monday.

Both Smalls were issued summonses with the charges against them.

Earlier this month, Small held a news conference in City Hall to say that a search of his home in late March involved “a private family issue,” not a crime.

Small said at the news conference that he and his wife have been interacting with state child welfare authorities and have nothing to hide.

“We’re going through family therapy, and that’s what this should be, a family matter,” he said.

A spokesman for the state Division of Child Protection and Permanency, said it cannot publicly discuss its cases to protect the privacy of those involved.

Small’s wife and two children attended the news conference with him but did not speak, and left before it was completed.


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