Atlantic City mayor, school superintendent accused of beating daughter

Posted at 12:19 PM, April 16, 2024

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (Court TV) — The mayor of Atlantic City and his wife, who serves as the superintendent of the school district, are facing charges after investigators say they abused their daughter, with one incident leaving the victim unconscious.

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small

Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small speaks at an event in Atlantic City, N.J., on Feb. 2, 2024. On April 15, Small and his wife LaQuetta, the city’s superintendent of schools, were charged with child endangerment and assault regarding their teenage daughter. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

Marty and La’Quetta Small are facing a list of charges, including endangering the welfare of a child, simple assault and aggravated assault for what prosecutors say were “multiple occasions” of abuse in December 2023 and January 2024.

Prosecutors listed a number of disturbing incidents that led to the charges, including one where Marty allegedly used a broom to beat his teenage daughter in the head, causing her to lose consciousness.

“Another incident alleged that Marty Small, Sr., during an argument with his daughter, continuously threatened to hurt her by ‘earth slamming’ her down the stairs, grabbing her head and throwing her to the ground, and smacking the weave out of her head.”

Investigators said that on one occasion, Marty punched his daughter’s legs repeatedly, causing bruising.

La’Quetta is accused of punching her daughter in the chest and mouth, as well as dragging her daughter by the hair and hitting her with a belt.

The charges were filed two weeks after police served five search warrants at the family’s home. Days after the search, on April 1, the mayor addressed the media, saying, “Though she has a doctorate and I have a master’s degree, there’s no book, no course that we took in college to show you how to be a parent. And more importantly, how to deal with the struggles of raising teenagers.”

An affidavit obtained by The Associated Press revealed that several incidents of the alleged abuse were recorded, apparently without the parents’ knowledge. Prosecutors reference an incident allegedly witnessed by the teenager’s grandmother, who is quoted as saying, “A little punch in the eye ain’t gonna stop her.”

Marty was named mayor of Atlantic City in 2019 and was sworn in for a four-year term in 2022, after winning 70% of the vote. La’Quetta, who has worked in the Atlantic City Public School District since 2003, was appointed to a 4.5-year term as superintendent of the district on Jan. 1, 2022. Court TV has reached out to the school district for a comment.

In a statement to Court TV, Marty’s attorney characterized the charges as “attempting to second guess parental decisions” and specified that the complaints were issued on summonses, meaning that the couple was not arrested and no bail was set. “Mayor Marty Small remains the Mayor in the City of Atlantic City and will continue to faithfully perform all his duties as Mayor. And he and his wife LaQuetta and their two children remain a close and loving and intact family. Mayor Small and Superintendent LaQuetta Small are completely innocent of any wrongdoing and will ultimately be vindicated.”

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