On June 14th 2019, Putnam County lost a respected leader. Our friend and colleague the Honorable James F Reitz passed away after suffering a medical emergency in the Putnam County Courthouse. Despite heroic efforts by court officers, police, EMS, fire personnel and Emergency Department, Judge Reitz died at Putnam Hospital Center.
“It hard to put into words the emotions with the passing of my lifelong friend Jim. Jim was always the person I turned to for support in good times and bad times and his advice was honest and from the heart”, said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell “He was a pillar of this community and his everlasting impact cannot be measured. My heart is heavy, and I know the entire community mourns this tragic loss. I have lost a dear friend, and Putnam County has lost a dedicated public servant”.
Judge Reitz was a lifelong Putnam County resident graduating from Carmel High School. Judge Reitz attended Mercy College graduating in 1986 and received his J.D. from the Thomas M Cooley Law School in 1989. Judge Reitz marrie 2019d the love of his life Barbara and resided in Mahopac NY. His love of serving the people was only surpassed by his love for his children and grandchildren which provided him with many hours of well-deserved bragging rights.
Judge Reitz was active in community service and volunteering, giving of himself to many organizations, most notably a long time Carmel Rotarian who epitomized Service Above Oneself. Judge Reitz was an outspoken advocate for addiction recovery and second chances which is why he was a pioneer for his beloved Drug Treatment Court. His program was instrumental in saving countless lives and families in Putnam County.
Judge Reitz always held Putnam County dear and focused his career on serving the people starting as a Carmel Town Court Justice in 1996 then becoming a multi-bench judge of the Putnam County Court in 2007. Judge Reitz has also served as an Acting Supreme Court Justice.