HARPER WOODS, Mich. (FOX 2) - Priscilla Slater died while in police custody and authorities say it was from natural causes.
The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed with FOX 2 Tuesday that 38-year-old Priscilla Slater died of cardiac dysrhythmia while in a Harper Woods Police holding cell.
"The city of Harper Woods employees had no knowledge whatsoever that she was in serious need of immediate medical attention," said John Gillooly, city attorney. "The question remains and we feel very confident that the city of Harper Woods will be exonerated."
Attorney Geoffrey Fieger is representing Priscilla Slater's family and plans to file a lawsuit against Harper Woods.
"If you're in a jail setting and you suffer an emergency medical event, I (expletive) well hope, you can get medical care and treatment," said Fieger. "The medical examiner thinks she suffered a cardiac event at 5 o'clock in the morning. She was not declared dead until almost 3 o'clock in the afternoon - which meant she was left alone for nine hours and that two people have been fired for engaging in covering up evidence after her death. We know something bad happened."
Harper Woods fired Deputy Police Chief John Vorgitch and patrol Officer Michael Pineau last week after learning the pair "attempted to conceal and manipulate evidence" in the in-custody death investigation of Priscilla Slater.
Gillooly says officers are to perform periodic checks on those in their custody, but says he does not know if that happened with Slater.
All of the relevant information like reports and surveillance video was handed over to state police which is investigating slater's death.
she was arrested in June after police responded to call of shots fired at a local motel.
Slater's death sparked protests and a chain of events that led to the former mayor's resignation.
"I think the city has no choice but to go forward and to really be proactive in making sure that we are 100 percent transparent," said Councilwoman Ernestine Lyons.
Lyons could not comment directly on the Slater investigation, but offered this: "I'm personally committed to making sure that we're having more conversations around our community, community policing, law enforcement, inclusivity, diversity and inclusion and what it really means to fight for some of the social justice issues at the forefront of our community and around the country"
There were traces of nicotine and marijuana in Slater's system according to the report.