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Special Atlantic City Council meeting looks to oust ACMUA board chair

A special Atlantic City Council meeting Friday will look to remove the chair of the city’s Municipal Utilities Authority.

John Devlin, who has served on the board for two years, faces misconduct allegations, according to the resolution set to be voted on at Friday’s special meeting.

It was not clear why the move required a special meeting. The mayor is the only one with the authority to call such a meeting, and he did not answer requests seeking comment.

The resolution makes four charges:

  • Interference with the award of contract to vendors.
  • Interference with the administrative operation of the ACMUA through improper communication with employees and attempted direction of day-to-day operational activities.
  • Conduct which interferes with the efficient operation of the Authority Board in the conduct of their meetings.
  • Conduct which is not in the best interest of the authority and public interest.

It also claims the allegations of misconduct were set forth in a letter to the director of the Department of Community Affairs, which was copied to Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver.

The DCA is trying to track down that information at the request of BreakingAC.

Devlin and Mayor Marty Small have had a heated rivalry.

The retired police officer also serves on the city’s Board of Education, and has pushed for an investigation involving the employment of a now-convicted child pornographer who is related to Small’s wife, the district’s incoming superintendent.

Dr. La’Quetta Small is included in that investigation into her cousin Ka’yan Frazier, who was a substitute teacher at Pennsylvania Avenue School when she was the principal there. At least one victim was a student Frazier met while teaching at that school.

The boy’s mother has filed a lawsuit that names the Smalls.

It was Dr. Small who first alerted the company who employed the districts substitutes about her cousin having the child sleep at his home, two months after she first learned there was outside interaction that violated district policy.

She also met with the boy’s mother at the time, when the woman said Frazier was a mentor to her son and she was fine with them spending time outside of school.

The school district didn’t mention anything publicly when Frazier was arrested in 2019, later noting he hadn’t worked for the school district in two years.

But at the end of 2020, Devlin — then the school board’s president — called a special meeting to discuss Frazier’s employment and move for a private firm to investigate.

He lost that vote, and was unseated as president by the next meeting. But the split board did later approve an investigation, which has been halted twice due to payment issues.

It currently seems at a standstill.

Devlin also drew ire when he revealed on Harry Hurley’s radio show that the board had received a grand jury subpoena and were under investigation by the political corruption unit.

In response to that interview, board solicitor Tracy Riley sent a letter copied to all board members and obtained by BreakingAC that reminded Devlin that “anything discussed in executive session must remain confidential.”

The City Council meeting is set for 5 p.m. Friday, and will be livestreamed.

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