Putnam County Court docket Choose James Reitz had simply completed a case on the bench Friday morning when he requested a court docket officer for assist.
“They have been on the point of name the subsequent case when Reitz mentioned to the court docket officer that was with him, ‘John, I believe I want you to assist me right here,'” Putnam County Govt MaryEllen Odell advised CNN.
Reitz then collapsed. The officer carried out CPR on the decide till he was taken by ambulance to the hospital, Odell mentioned. The hospital labored on him for about 30 to 45 minutes earlier than he was pronounced lifeless. He was 57.
Reitz was identified for his drug court docket program, which provided individuals whose crimes have been associated to habit a possibility to hunt remedy and keep away from jail.
Terrence Murphy, a former New York state senator, advised CNN he labored with Reitz usually on the drug court docket. Murphy was chair of the New York State Senate Job Power on Heroin and Opioid Habit.
“He ran the perfect drug court docket in New York state,” Murphy mentioned. “He actually saved individuals’s lives. He is an iconic particular person and shall be sorely missed. Our skilled relationship went past, into private friendship, with him and his spouse Barbara. I am nonetheless in shock.”
Odell mentioned the demise of Reitz was a loss to the group.
“He was an enormous amongst males on this group. We shall be feeling his loss for a really very long time,” Odell mentioned. “I personally misplaced a pricey pal and Putnam County misplaced a devoted public servant whose ardour was serving to anybody who wanted assist.”