• Lynda Cohen

Atlantic City's new councilwoman claims unfair treatment

Updated: Dec 12, 2019

LaToya Dunston claims a rough road since she was appointed to fill the mayor’s vacated City Council seat last month. “The bullying, the tormenting, it hasn’t been smooth and I want the public to know,” Dunston said Friday, at her first meeting as a member of council. Dunston said she was asked to take a drug test, be fingerprinted and to show her original birth certificate when she came to City Hall to take on her temporary position. None of those were requirements for others on the dais, several councilmen confirmed to BreakingAC . “They didn’t even know if I was me,” one said when asked about providing identification. Dunston was one of three candidates presented to fill Marty Small’s Second Ward seat after he was re-elected to the position after taking over as mayor. The council vote choosing her was unanimous. The process will happen again in the new year, with that appointee taking the seat until the special election. Whether it will be Dunston or someone else in that seat come January, she told BreakingAC on Monday that she was shocked at how she has been treated. “I was keeping it to myself,” she said. “We don’t need to be divided at a time like this.” But questions she raised about grouping the voted on several contracts pushed her to say something at Friday’s meeting. “Being a woman, I feel like I’ve been mistreated,” she told those gathered in council chamber. “I’ve got to be honest and put it on the record.” Sitting in her third-floor office on Monday, Dunston said she felt targeted when she came to City Hall thinking she would just be getting whatever she needed to take on the new role, including the keys to her office. Instead, she said she was given an application and told she would have to undergo a drug test and background check, along with needing to provide her original birth certificate. “I worked here before,” she said. “I was in their system.” When asked about the issues, Small said he did not know why he was being dragged into it. Dunston said she refused to follow what she was told, and that the city clerk confirmed to Human Resources that the extra requirements weren’t necessary. “All I want to do is sit here and serve the city of Atlantic City,” she said. “I’ve just got to remain focused and do what is in the best interest of the taxpayers.For years, our taxpayers, seniors and youth have been left with nothing. I will be the voice for the voiceless and I want to bring hope back to our hopeless community. "

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