An upstate New York judge died after having a heart attack on the bench.
The New York Post reports,
Putman County Court Judge James Reitz, 57, was in his courtroom Friday morning when he was stricken. Court officers performed CPR and used a defibrillator to try to resuscitate him before he was taken to a hospital, the Associated Press reported.
His last words were to tell a court officer, “John, I think I need you to help me,” the New York Law Journal reported.
He died shortly after arriving at the hospital, said Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the state court system.
Reitz lived in Mahopac and was a county judge since 2007. He was also an acting justice with the state Supreme Court, the Journal News reported. He previously worked as a lawyer in private practice.
State Sen. Terrence Murphy, who represents Putnam County, called Reitz “a giant” in a Facebook post, and said his legacy will be his Drug Court Program, which “should be a model for New York State.”
“Judge Reitz was the ultimate public servant,” Murphy said.