The state attorney general's office has launched an investigation into the medical care contractor for Nassau County's jail, according to sources familiar with the probe.
It follows a recent state report that criticized the company for a pattern of neglectful inmate treatment and concluded a 2014 custody death might have been prevented.
The new probe concerns the standard of care that Armor Correctional Health Services has provided, including the Miami-based company's procedures, how it deals with medical emergencies and allegations of poor patient treatment, sources said.
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman's office declined to comment.
But the sources said Schneiderman's office also is asking questions about jail custody deaths and seeking information on medical care complaints from former Nassau inmates.
Part of the attorney general's probe specifically includes the May jail custody death of Antonio Marinaccio Jr., 53, of Levittown, a source said. He died after, his family said, he had a heart attack in jail and became brain dead after not getting proper medical care.
Westbury attorney Harry Demiris Jr., who represents Marinaccio's family in a lawsuit they're planning, said yesterday they are "very happy to hear that someone outside the county is looking into something that happened inside the county."
An Armor spokeswoman said Wednesday the company wasn't aware of the probe.
Nassau Sheriff's Department spokesman Capt. Michael Golio said Schneiderman's office hadn't contacted the department, adding: "We have no knowledge of the existence of any such investigation at this time."
County Executive Edward Mangano's office didn't respond to a request for comment.
The state's Commission of Correction, which oversees jails and probes inmate deaths, has repeatedly found fault with Armor since it won its first two-year, $11-million-a-year contract with Nassau in 2011 when the county privatized inmate care to try to cut costs.
Last month, the commission ordered Nassau's legislature to conduct an inquiry into Armor's fitness as jail medical care provider after the commission's probe into the July 2014 death of inmate John Gleeson, 40, of Oceanside. The commission found Gleeson, who suffered from a condition involving swelling bouts that could escalate into breathing emergencies, received "incompetent and deficient" care.
The commission's findings in Gleeson's case were at least the third time the agency criticized Armor's care at Nassau's jail after an inmate's death.
In August, Newsday reported Gleeson had made repeated trips to the jail's medical unit on the day he died. Fellow inmates also had said in interviews that Gleeson's throat had swelled dramatically and there were clear signs his life was in danger at the time, but Gleeson told them he was given Benadryl in the medical unit and sent to his cell for the night.
Mineola attorney James Pascarella, who represents Gleeson's family in a lawsuit they're planning, Wednesday called it "a necessary step," for the attorney general's office to investigate Armor.
"I think they need to be looked into and investigated to make sure that tragedies like what happened to the Gleesons and other families don't happen again," he said.
The commission's findings in its report on Gleeson's death prompted the county legislature's minority leader and inmate advocates to call on Mangano to suspend the contract with Armor that the legislature's Republican-led Rules Committee had renewed for two years in June.
The renewal took place even after some Democratic legislators questioned the move, following a Newsday report in May detailing concerns expressed by a judge, a former bar association president and the New York Civil Liberties Union about inadequate inmate medical care.
In its report on Gleeson's death, the state commission also said Armor has a pattern of "inadequate and neglectful medical care" in New York.
Armor previously defended its operations by saying it has a record of providing quality care to more than 40,000 inmates in eight states, but can't discuss specific cases because of a privacy law. The company also has said medical providers in the corrections setting are subject to frequently unfounded allegations and legal actions.
In 2014, Schneiderman's office reached a settlement with a different private jail medical provider, Correctional Medical Care Inc. The attorney general probed the company in the wake of the commission's finding that six jail custody deaths involved medical care lapses.
The agreement required the company to pay restitution and civil penalties, and fund an independent monitor to oversee its performance for three years.