Atlantic City mayor and wife accused of abusing teen daughter

Mayor Marty Small Sr. and his wife, Superintendent Dr. La’Quetta Small, allegedly “physically and emotionally” abused their daughter over the course of two months last winter.

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. (left) with his attorney, Ed Jacobs, addressing reporters during a press conference on April 1, 2024.

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. (left) with his attorney, Ed Jacobs, addressing reporters during a press conference on April 1, 2024. (P. Kenneth Burns/WHYY)

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr., and his wife, Atlantic City Schools Superintendent Dr. La’Quetta Small, are accused of “physically and emotionally” abusing their teenage daughter over a couple of months during last winter.

The charges from the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office come more than two weeks after investigators searched the family home.

According to prosecutors, the incidents happened between December 2023 and January 2024.

In one incident, they accuse Marty Small of hitting his daughter “multiple times” in the head with a broom, causing her to lose consciousness. The mayor is further accused of threatening his daughter during an argument several times by “earth slamming” her down the stairs, grabbing her head, throwing her to the ground and “smacking the weave out of her head.” In another incident, Marty Small is accused of punching his daughter repeatedly in her legs, causing bruising.

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For her part, La’ Quetta Small is accused of punching her daughter several times on her chest, leaving bruises. In another incident, she allegedly dragged her daughter by her hair and then struck her with a belt on her shoulders, leaving marks. La’ Quetta Small is further accused of punching her daughter in the mouth during an argument.

Both Marty Small and La’Quetta Small are charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Marty Small was charged separately with terroristic threats and aggravated assault. La’Quetta Small was additionally charged with three separate counts of disorderly persons simple assault.

The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office confirmed Tuesday that the charges are connected to the arrest of Atlantic City High School principal Constance Days-Chapman is facing. She was charged with misconduct and failing to report child abuse in late March.

Days-Chapman is chairwoman of the Atlantic City Democratic Party and oversaw Marty Small’s reelection campaign for mayor.

Ed Jacobs, attorney for Marty Small and La’Quetta Small, said the charges “have absolutely nothing to do with public corruption or misconduct in office or any malfeasance of any kind whatsoever.”

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“There’s simply no public element at all,” he said. “The complaints are focused on private family matters and challenges met by Mayor Small as a dad and La’Quetta Small as a mom of a teenage child.”

The mayor held a news conference April 1 with his family — including his daughter — and supporters at his side a couple of days after his home was searched. He said that the home search was tied to “a family matter” and addressed rumors that his daughter was pregnant.

Marty Small and Jacobs accused the prosecutor’s office of being “very aggressive” and “very public” in executing the warrant and suggested that it was racially and politically motivated. The prosecutor’s office said the officers involved with the warrant treated both the mayor and his wife “with dignity and respect during the entire process.”

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