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Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. not resigning after being charged with abusing teen daughter

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. won't resign after charges for abusing daughter, lawyer says
Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. won't resign after charges for abusing daughter, lawyer says 00:38

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBS) - The mayor of Atlantic City will not resign after he and his wife, the city's superintendent of schools, were charged with physically and emotionally abusing their teenage daughter, according to his lawyer.

Mayor Marty Small Sr. and La'Quetta Small were charged with endangering the welfare of a child by the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office on Monday. The mayor was also charged with terroristic threats, aggravated assault and disorderly persons simple assault.

"Mayor Marty Small remains the mayor in the city of Atlantic City and will continue to faithfully perform all of his duties as mayor," Ed Jacobs, Small's attorney, said in a statement. "He and his wife La'Quetta and their two children remain a close and loving and intact family."

Jacobs said the mayor and the superintendent were not arrested and no bail was set because the complaints were issued on summonses. He said both Small and his wife are "completely innocent of any wrongdoing and will ultimately be vindicated."

Charing documents filed by the county's prosecutor allege Small and his wife emotionally and physically abused their teen daughter between December 2023 and January 2024.

The complaint alleges in January, Small hit his daughter multiple times in the head with a broom, causing her to lose consciousness.

The mayor also allegedly threatened his daughter in early January by repeatedly telling her he would "smack the weave out ya head" and "earth slam" her down the stairs, according to the complaint.

The Atlantic County prosecutor claimed La'Quetta Small once punched her daughter multiple times in her chest. She also allegedly dragged her daughter by her hair before beating her with a belt on her shoulders and punched her daughter in the mouth during another argument, the prosecutor alleges.

On March 28, five search warrants were executed at the mayor's and his wife's home and cars. Jacobs said cellphones and laptops were among "a long list" of items seized during the search.

On April 1, the mayor held a press conference with his wife, lawyer and daughter present addressing the search warrants.

Small denied any wrongdoing, claiming they were dealing with a "private family matter." He and his legal team also said the prosecutor's investigation did not involve public corruption or misconduct.

"There's no corruption. We don't have Atlantic City Housing Authority money in our house," the mayor said on April 1. "We don't have city of Atlantic City money in our house. I didn't steal anything. My wife didn't bring Atlantic City Board of Education money to our house, as alleged."

In a statement released Tuesday, Jacobs said the criminal complaints filed by the county prosecutor "prove us correct on both points."

"First, these complaints make absolutely no allegation of any type of public corruption or misconduct in office against Mayor Small or his administration," Jacobs said. "Second, these complaints focus exclusively on private family matters, attempting to second guess parental decisions of Mayor Small and his wife, La'Quetta."

Atlantic County prosecutors said the charges are connected with those brought against Atlantic City High School Principal Constance Days-Chapman for failing to report child abuse in January.

Small was first appointed mayor in 2019 after Frank Gilliam Jr. pleaded guilty to wire fraud and resigned. He was re-elected for a one-year term during a special election in 2020 and was then elected to a four-year term in November 2021.

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