New York Judge Dies in Courtroom
A New York judge has died after having a heart attack on the bench.
Putnam County Court Judge James Reitz, 57, asked a court officer for help between cases Friday, June 14th just before he collapsed, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell told CNN. The officer performed CPR and the hospital tried to revive Reitz for 30 to 45 minutes before he was pronounced dead, Odell told CNN.
Reitz became a judge in Putnam County in 2007, according to the New York Law Journal. He was well known for his drug court program, which focused on getting addiction-related defendants treatment as opposed to prison time, according to CNN. But his colleagues will remember so much more about Reitz than just his work in the courtroom.
Former New York state senator Terrence Murphy took to Facebook to share his thoughts and condolences following Reitz’s death.
“In my life I have met few people of greater character, loyalty and dedication than Judge James Reitz…. [He] was the ultimate public servant, but more importantly, I am proud to say he was a true friend.”
Odell told CNN Reitz was “a giant among men in this community.”
“I personally lost a dear friend and Putnam County lost a dedicated public servant whose passion was helping anyone who needed help.”