There Goes The Judge

The distinguished career of New York State's chief jurist ends in disgrace

WITH HIS PHOTO-OP JAW, LUSTROUS CREST OF HAIR and baritone voice, Sol Wachtler could have played a judge on television if he had not actually been one. As chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, Wachtler headed one of the nation's most influential state courts. State Republican leaders wanted him to challenge Mario Cuomo if the New York Governor chose to run again in 1994. But nobody is talking much about Wachtler's political future any longer. It's hard to envision the campaign trail of a man under house arrest.

On Nov. 7, a seven-week FBI investigation ended with Wachtler,...

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