Atlantic City Mayor’s House Raided, Police Mum

Posted on: March 28, 2024, 06:15h. 

Last updated on: March 29, 2024, 11:22h.

The home of Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. (D) and his wife, Dr. La’Quetta Small, was raided on Thursday by local law enforcement.

Atlantic City Marty Small raid
The home of Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small Sr. and his wife, Dr. LaQuetta Small, was raided Friday morning. Reports around town suggest the sting could be related to Dr. Small, who is the superintendent of Atlantic City Public Schools. (Image: Instagram)

Small was appointed mayor of the casino town by the Atlantic City Council in 2019 after Frank Gilliam (D) resigned in the wake of pleading guilty to wire fraud and theft of $87K from a charity youth basketball program. Local media reports police raided Small’s home on Presbyterian Avenue Friday morning at the direction of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office.

Search warrants were issued,” said the mayor’s attorney, Ed Jacobs. “They [search warrants] are one-sided. Nothing ought to be read into any proceeding in which one of the two sides has had no opportunity to respond.”

City and police spokespeople refused to comment on the ongoing investigation. Jacobs said he’s still reviewing the search warrants.

“Search warrants are investigative tools. They’re easy to get,” Jacobs said of law enforcement needing a judge to sign off on alleged probable cause presented by police to execute a search. “People who are targets of search warrants have absolutely no opportunity to tell his or her side before the warrant is issued.”

School Link

Though no report has confirmed the speculation, rumors are swirling that the raid had less to do with the mayor and more to do with his wife. Dr. La’Quetta Small is the superintendent of Atlantic City Public Schools.

Atlantic City High School Principal Constance Days-Chapman was recently arrested and charged for not reporting a student informing school administration about being the victim of physical and verbal abuse at home. The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office alleges that Days-Chapman failed to notify child protective services after being told about the abuse.

Small completed Gilliam’s term and was elected to his own four-year term in November 2021. Small has been credited for working to clean up the gambling resort town and improving its security.

Small’s mayor stint is perhaps best known for imploding the shuttered Trump Plaza in February 2021 and making billionaire Carl Icahn pay for it. The fall of the 39-story structure, Trump critics said, was a symbolic ending to the then-president’s time in Atlantic City.

“This is a historic moment,” Smalls said, watching the structure fall. “It was exciting. I got chills.”

Small has endured previous run-ins with the law and court system.

In 2011, Small and five others were arrested and charged on allegations of tampering with ballots during the Democratic primary in Atlantic City. He was later acquitted.

In 2021, Small and his wife were named as defendants in a lawsuit brought by a mother against the couple. The plaintiff alleged that her daughter was sexually abused by a relative of Small inside their Atlantic City home. The case was later dismissed because of lack of evidence.

Longtime political strategist Craig Callaway, who in 2021 was working on behalf of Small’s challenger Tom Foley, a Republican, presented a video of Small seemingly threatening him. After telling Small he’s “a child molester protector,” the mayor responded, “I’m going to whoop your f—— a–, b—-.”

Dirty Politics 

If the raid of the Small family house isn’t linked to the school scandal and is instead something to do with the mayor, it would be yet another black eye on the Atlantic City government.

Gilliam marked the fourth Atlantic City mayor to be arrested on corruption charges since 1970.

William Somers (D) became mayor of Atlantic City in 1970. Three years later, he was convicted of extorting $5,000 from a Boardwalk small business. The mayor was part of the infamous “A.C. 7,” a group of elected leaders indicted by a federal grand jury. Somers remained in office for the last year of his term while on unsupervised probation.

A little more than a decade later, Michael Matthews’ (D) mayorship was cut short in March 1984 after he was recalled upon being sent to prison after pleading guilty to extortion. Prosecutors said Matthews utilized the Mafia to help bankroll his political campaign in exchange for kickbacks.

James Usry (R), whom Matthews beat during the 1982 election, succeeded Matthews. He wasn’t much better.

The first African-American mayor of Atlantic City was arrested in 1989 on charges of bribery, conspiracy, official misconduct, and accepting unlawful gifts. Those charges were later dropped after Usry agreed to plead guilty to improperly reporting campaign donations.