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


  • Democratic Mayor Marty Small of Atlantic City, New Jersey, has been charged alongside his wife, La’Quetta, with the repeated abuse and assault of the couple’s teenage daughter.
  • Both Smalls were charged with endangering the welfare of a child. The mayor was also charged with making terroristic threats, as well as simple and aggravated assault. La’Quetta Small, meanwhile, was charged with three additional counts of simple assault.
  • The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office claims “the defendants physically and emotionally abused their 15/16-year-old-daughter on multiple occasions,” including an incident in which the mayor knocked the teenager unconscious.

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.

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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.

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small, center, speaks at a news conference in Atlantic City, N.J., Monday, April 1, 2024, flanked by his daughter Jada, left, and his attorney Edwin Jacobs, right. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

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, referring a reporter to his lawyer Ed Jacobs. The lawyer did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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.

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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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