Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small addresses media and employees surrounded by his son, wife, daughter and attorney Ed Jacobs.

By LYNDA COHEN, BreakingAC

A family matter and not political corruption brought a warranted search to the home of Atlantic City’s mayor last week, he said during a news conference Monday at City Hall.

Mayor Marty Small said the public display that included “20 law enforcement officials with guns, rifles, battering rams and more” was politically and racially motivated.

The raid that executed a warrant to search the home and couple’s vehicles “was done in a very aggressive and a very public manner,” the Smalls’ attorney, Ed Jacobs said. “Intentionally so.”

“All this for a cell phone and laptops,” Small said.

The search that blocked off Presbyterian Avenue came just hours after the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office announced charges against Atlantic City High School Principal Constance Days-Chapman, a close family friend.

She is accused of failing to report a student’s allegations of abuse at home. Days-Chapman allegedly went to the parents and failed to report the claims to the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, formerly DYFS.

It is believed the student was the Smalls’ daughter, who stood by her father’s side during the news conference, along with her brother and mother, Superintendent LaQuetta Small.

“If you think that you’re going to drive a wedge between us, it’s not going to work,” Small said in addressing the allegations against his children’s “Aunt Mandy.”

“We support you, Mandy,” Small said. “You did absolutely nothing wrong.”

The Smalls knew about the investigation for several months, and “have done absolutely nothing to obstruct or interfere,” Jacobs said.

That investigation included DCPP, the mayor confirmed. He also said the family is going to therapy.

Despite his master’s degree and his wife’s doctorate, they have the same family issues as others, he said.

“There’s no book and no course that we took in college to show you how to be a parent,” the mayor said. “And. more importantly, how to deal with the struggles of raising teenagers.”

The family left before the mayor addressed rumors that have run rampant about the mayor’s daughter, including that she is pregnant and having twins, and allegations that either he or his wife had beaten the girl so badly she lost the pregnancy.

“I want you to put yourselves in my shoes for a minute and imagine if they talked about your child like that,” he said.

The mayor then put out a warning to those who he said he has information on that have spread those rumors: “You’ll be getting a visit from Mr. Jacobs very soon.”

He said there was no need to delete social media posts, since the screenshots already were taken.

One in particular claimed the information was from an Atlantic City police officer. Small referenced that post, whose allegations he called the “most egregious.”

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BreakingAC was sent a screenshot of the post, which was made under a story about the raid that radio host Harry Hurley posted on Facebook.

BreakingAC reached out to the woman who made the post.

She said that the officer she referenced “is no longer actively on duty,” and that she deleted the comment “a couple of days ago.”

The group gathered inside City Hall for the news conference was most decidedly pro-Smalls, as many gave vocal support while the mayor spoke.

Some even shot back at reporters’ questions.

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“I have to leave here,” said one woman after a news reporter asked the mayor if he struck his daughter.

Small alleged that the investigation is by political foes who can’t beat him at the polls, so they want to discredit him.

He said political powerbroker George Norcross alleged that Sen. Vincent Polistina came to him with an agenda to discredit Small.

The allegation is that Prosecutor William Reynolds is acting on Polistina’s behalf.

Polistina did not immediately return a request for comment.

Reynolds’ office did put out a release apparently in response to the news conference.

“The men and women of this office involved in the search conducted themselves in the highest professional manner,” the statement read, in what was the first comment by the office about the raid. “Standard operating procedures and protocols in executing residential search warrants were utilized to ensure the safety of all occupants of the residence, neighbors, and law enforcement alike.

“These procedures are put in place for safety reasons and these procedures do not deviate regardless of one’s political, professional, or social status,” it continued. “Both Mayor Small and Dr. Small were treated with dignity and respect during the entire process.”

He noted that they made sure the juveniles were not in residence or present when the warrant was executed.

Categories: Atlantic City

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.