Written by: Jeremy Baumhower
Radio personality Andrew “Z” Zepeda will turn himself into Wood County officials later this morning; to finish the remaining 20 days of a 30 day jail sentence after losing a year-long appeal. In December of 2012, Andrew was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 5 years of probation for violating the terms of his “In Lieu of Conviction’ agreement from his three different felony charges. The crime that violated his probation was boxing at a charity event that sold liquor. He is battling for his livelihood, because he battled in a boxing ring for a good cause.
It seems that Andrew Z is losing his battle with karma.
The news of the rejected appeal could not come at a worse time for Andrew. It’s not the 20 days that he will spend in jail, but what will happen when he gets out. Something that will make his life and career almost impossible.
In the original sentence, Andrew made an “In Lieu of Conviction” plea agreement, there was a 5 year community control probation order which bans Andrew from being in any establishment that serves alcohol. Over the last 12 months, Andrew has been earning monies as a DJ, club promoter and most recently as one of the driving forces behind the new West Toledo Comedy Club called Laffs Inc, located at 3922 Secor Road.
With the loss of this appeal, the probation eliminates Andrew’s best ability to make a living. The other part of his agreement/sentence was to make restitution of the $40,000 in taxes that he had failed to pay. At the time of his sentencing in December of 2012 he had paid half of the amount owed, but $20,000 was still outstanding. This five year long probation order completely handicapped Andrew’s way of making a living and paying the State of the Ohio back.
If Andrew Z was a carpenter, the probation would be similar to banning him from touching a hammer.
It has been three and a half years since the break-in occurred at the now defunct Andrew Z’s Pizza Place in Perrysburg. Andrew has been fired twice, by both the major radio companies in Toledo since 2011. His personal life has suffered a major blow following a divorce in late 2013. His money is all gone, his ability to earn has been greatly diminished. He is a felon.
Andrew who would often use his radio show to; better our area, promote charitable events, bring attention to those who were deserving… is now looking at a life ruined. This man has done as much good as he has done stupid.
Andrew Z’s biggest mistake was his comments aimed at Wood County officials before the break-in and after the padlocked closing of his Perrysburg restaurant. He gave Woody County the proper motivation to be made an example of.
Zepeda has become Wood County’s Al Capone- they got their man.
Andrew Z broke the law, admitted to his wrongdoings/issues and has made an effort to make amends in doing so. The “crime” he committed that revoked his agreement was appearing at a charity event, that was selling booze.
Andrew’s biggest character flaw is also the very trait that made him possess a successful radio show, he only sees blue skies. He suffers from constant optimism. When you combine his inability to see the bad side of things, his G.E.D. education and his drive to be successful, we end up here.
It appears that Andrew’s ongoing battle against his own karma has the scales tipped against him. His sentence has been a 3.5 year nonstop-downward-spiral of both personal and professional failures and setbacks.
The paperwork from Ohio’s 6th District Court of Appeals notifying him of the ruling, may as well have been a map to a local bridge for him to jump.
Andrew Z has a unique skill set. His ability to earn monies and work is based around establishments that sell booze. In order to pay back the remaining $20,000 of restitution in a timely matter, Andrew must be able to enter and work inside the very buildings he is now banned from.
The terms of his 5 year probation must be changed to stop it from becoming a life sentence; continue his 5 year ban on drinking, increase the amount of random drug & alcohol testing and add hundreds of hours of community service, but allow him to work.
Andrew doesn’t need a second or third chance, he needs a fair shot at succeeding.
You can see Jeremy Baumhower’s words every week in the Toledo Free Press. You can reach him by email at email@example.com