Judge has fatal heart attack in New York courtroom

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A 57-year-old Putman County judge has died after suffering a heart attack in his upstate New York courtroom.

A spokesman for the state court system said Putman County Court Judge James Reitz was stricken on the bench Friday morning. Court officers performed CPR and used an automatic electronic defibrillator to try to resuscitate him before he was taken to a hospital by ambulance.

Court system spokesman Lucian Calfen said Reitz died shortly after arriving at the hospital.

Reitz, a resident of Mahopac, had been a county judge since 2007 and was also an acting justice with the state Supreme Court. He previously worked as a lawyer in private practice.

State Sen. Terrence Murphy called Reitz the “ultimate public servant” in a Facebook post and praised his drug court program.

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