Sol Wachtler, former chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, who served 13 months in prison after admitting that he had threatened to kidnap an ex-girlfriend’s 14-year-old daughter, has cleared a first hurdle toward reinstatement to the practice of law.

In a brief order, a panel of the Appellate Division, 2nd Department, on Feb. 6 referred Wachtler’s application for reinstatement to the court’s Character and Fitness Committee for evaluation, including a report from his treating physician.

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