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Atlantic City mayor's attorney says lies about sexual predator will be countered forcefully
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Atlantic City mayor's attorney says lies about sexual predator will be countered forcefully

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ATLANTIC CITY — Accusations of complicity in sexual assaults on minors against Mayor Marty Small Sr. and his wife are lies and beyond acceptable political discourse, the mayor’s attorney said Wednesday.

“Political discourse is not a license to lie,” said attorney Ed Jacobs. “In recent months, certain people have lied about Mayor Small and his wife, Principal La’Quetta Small, falsely accusing them of complicity in sexual assaults on minors.”

Supporters of Democratic mayoral candidate Tom Foley, a retired firefighter and former assemblyman, have accused the Smalls of covering up criminal sexual behavior of a cousin of La’Quetta Small who was a substitute teacher at the Pennsylvania Avenue School when she was principal there.

La’Quetta Small’s cousin, Kayan Frazier, 28, of Somers Point, pleaded guilty Feb. 4 in federal court to exploitation of a child, identified as Minor Child 1, who was in his care between March 2017 and April 15, 2019. According to the plea, Frazier possessed and distributed child pornography — including images involving Minor Child 1 — dating as far back as March 2015.

Frazier worked as a substitute teacher at the Pennsylvania Avenue School between 2015 and 2017 and was dismissed for inappropriate conduct with Minor Child 1, according to court papers. Yet he was able to get a job with the New Jersey Department of Child Protection and Permanency, Foley said.

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Frazier has been in jail since 2019 and is expected to be sentenced in June.

“Those people will learn lies have consequences,” Jacobs said. “Mayor Small and La’Quetta will formally and forcefully respond to those lies in a matter of days.”

Small is in a three-way race with Foley and Steve Layman for the Democratic nomination, and on Monday sent out a news release criticizing Foley for his support of President Donald Trump.

The campaign got uglier after Atlantic County Democratic Chair Michael Suleiman announced March 1 he is giving the “county line” position in Atlantic City to Small and his ticket of at-large council candidates, rather than giving it to whomever is supported by the Atlantic City Democratic Committee.

The county line is the first line on a primary ballot and allows municipal candidates to be on the same line as other party leaders, including this year Gov. Phil Murphy, who is running for reelection.

That move angered many on the committee who do not support Small. The municipal chair, Gwen Lewis, called Suleiman “a racist” for denying the city committee the right to choose which municipal candidates get the line.

Suleiman said the municipal committee is controlled by political organizer Craig Callaway, who has worked for Republican candidates in recent elections and does not have the Democratic Party’s interests at heart.

Lewis, who is Craig Callaway’s sister, has denied his involvement.

Contact Michelle Brunetti Post: 609-272-7219

Twitter @MichelleBPost

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Staff Writer

In my first job after college got paid to read the New York Times and summarize articles for an early online data base. First reporting job was with The Daily Record in Parsippany. I have also worked in nonprofits, and have been with The Press since 1990.

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