New York Judge Dies at 57 From Heart Attack

By Paula Liu, The Epoch Times
June 16, 2019 Updated: June 16, 2019

An Upstate New York Judge passed away after suffering a heart attack in court, according to multiple reports.

The court judge of Putnam County, James Reitz, 57, was in court on the morning of June 14 when he suffered a heart attack, according to the Associated Press.

Court officers immediately performed CPR on the unconscious judge and employed the use of an automatic electronic defibrillator in an attempt to save the last judge’s life before medical officials arrived.

Reitz was transported to an ambulance and taken to the hospital.

However, according to the court system spokesman, Lucian Chalfen, Reitz did not survive the heart attack and passed away shortly after arriving at the hospital. It was unclear whether the judge had been suffering from any health issues up until he passed away, according to Fox News.

According to the New York Post, the last words that Reitz spoke were to a court officer: “John, I think I need you to help me.”

Fox News reported that the late judge was living in Mahopac and had been a county judge since 2007. In addition, he was also an acting judge with the Supreme court. Prior to his judge duty, he was a lawyer.

The Putnam County Firearms Owners Association took to Twitter to express their condolences to the late judge, writing, “It’s with heavy heart I bear the sad news that Judge James Reitz passed away this morning from Cardiac Arrest. No further details at this time. He was a great Judge who truly cared about people & the community. He will be greatly missed. Please keep his family in your prayers.”

According to the reports, State Senator Terrance Murphy said Reitz was a great public servant to the city, praising Reizt for the drug court program, and called him the “ultimate public servant.”

He took to social media to offer his condolences to the late Putnam County judge and wrote a post on Facebook.

“Putnam County lost a giant today. In my life I have met few people of greater character, loyalty and dedication than Judge James Reitz. His Drug Court Program, which will be his legacy as a public servant, should be a model for New York State. Judge Reitz was the ultimate public servant, but more importantly, I am proud to say he was a true friend. My heart goes out to all who had the privilege of knowing him, and of course, his incredible wife Barbara. Rest easy my friend.”

Putnam County Executive Mary Ellen Odell said in a statement that Reitz was a very outspoken advocate in giving people second chances, as well as recovery from addictions.

Many others also offered their condolences to the late judge on Murphy’s Facebook post, and wrote many heartfelt comments regarding the passing of the judge, praising him as a good man.

Liz Mulvaney on Facebook wrote, “rest In Peace Judge, it was great pleasure knowing you and thank you for always taking the calls when I had a questions. There were plenty during Putnam’s first half marathon, you made it all so easy to pull together. You’ve touched many lives in Putnam and it’s a huge loss for the community. My deepest sympathies to your wife, family & friends.”

Lauren Peters-Majdanski wrote, “He was a wonderful man that truly cared about our Community!! May he RIP and may God hold his family in the palm of his hand during this difficult time!! He will be missed!”

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