EAST MEADOW - The Nassau Sheriff's Department has confirmed that an inmate at the Nassau County Jail died Monday — the sixth death of a person in custody this year, according to the New York State Commission of Correction.
Officials did not confirm a cause of death, but News 12 sources say the 62-year-old died from heart failure.
Family members say Michael Cullum was incarcerated for just 10 days on drug charges. An attorney for his family says he had several medical issues that weren't addressed from the beginning of his imprisonment.
"We understand he could not even stand to be arraigned, because he had been without his medication," he says. "If that is not a signal, we don't know what is."
The jail's private medical provider, Armor Correctional Health Services, has been accused recently of negligence. Due to the ongoing controversy, the company earlier announced that it would not seek to renew its contract with the county.
Nassau County Legislature Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams is demanding a hearing on the deaths.
"The bottom line is very simple," Abrahams says. "The county is opened up to a tremendous amount of liability. On top of that, just quality of care for human beings…[Inmates] deserve quality care, and they're not getting it."
Armor says the inmate was sent to Nassau University Medical Center on Friday before dying Monday. The company declined to comment further, citing confidentiality rules of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.