Atlantic City mayor says child abuse charges don’t change commitment to city

Atlantic City, New Jersey, Mayor Marty Small on Thursday said he remains committed to his family and city residents, three days after prosecutors charged him and his wife with physically abusing their teenage daughter.

The 50-year-old Democrat, who has served as mayor since 2019, said the explosive allegations made public over the past few days will not interfere with his work.

“We’ve all seen news accounts of what’s going on with myself personally,” he said Thursday morning at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. “It’s just that: personal,” he added.

Small and his wife, Atlantic City Public Schools Superintendent La’Quetta Small, are accused of physically and emotionally abusing their 16-year-old daughter on several occasions between 2023 and January 2024.

Shortly after authorities raided their home on March 28, Small held a press conference to clarify that the raid was connected to a “private family matter” and not to any type of scandal involving financial misconduct, corruption, drugs or guns.

He also shut down reports he had assaulted his daughter when she was pregnant with twins, calling it an“egregious rumor.”

Earlier this week, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office announced it had filed charges of endangering the welfare of a child against both parents.

Their lawyer, Ed Jacobs, said in a statement Tuesday that “Mayor Small and Superintendent La’Quetta Small are completely innocent of any wrongdoing and will ultimately be vindicated.”

Small’s comment on Thursday, which happened when he was speaking at the East Coast Gaming Congress, marked the first time the mayor publicly addressed the criminal charges the Smalls are facing.

His current legal turmoil should not change his capacity to lead the city, he said.

“I pledge to each and every one of you, it doesn’t change my commitment, number one, to my family, and it doesn’t change my commitment here to the great city of Atlantic City,” Small added.