Baumhower: Andrew Z’s Losing Battle with Karma


Photo by Sarah Ottney Courtesy of The Toledo Free Press

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


Columnist, Writer for Radio Shows across the US & Canada, Promoter, Believer, Father

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Posted in Baumhower, Column, Court, radio, Toledo
7 comments on “Baumhower: Andrew Z’s Losing Battle with Karma
  1. Thank you for the story Jeremy. That poor guy – if it weren’t for bad luck he’d have no luck at all.
    I’m thinking petition? Would it help? Our community needs fun, positive, outspoken, imperfect people like him! Not all people that stand out and truly reach a community need to be in congress or have a polished, public persona! He may not be an elected official but our community has elected him by popular opinion time and time again! We can see what the courts can’t – we need to change that some how! Let the brain storm begin!


  2. Jack says:

    Andrew’s a very talented, very difficult individual. This is his karma is coming back to him.

    He’s a man who is abusive to co-workers and supervisors. He can’t get along with others in the sandbox. He thinks rules don’t apply to him. He’s been fired from almost every job he’s ever had. There’s a pattern to his life, and it’s of his own doing.

    He made the plea agreement. Then he made the choice to violate the agreement. Why should we feel bad that he’s now suffering the consequences of his actions? Why didn’t he petition the court for a one-time exception?

    And let’s be honest here: the argument that Andrew has to be in places that serve alcohol to make a living is ridiculous. He’s a radio guy. Radio stations don’t serve alcohol. His skillset qualifies him to do marketing…PR…sales…paid charity work…none of which require him to be in places that serve alcohol.

    As said at the top, he IS a very talented individual, and hopefully he can get his mind right and stop making destructive choices. However, your piece makes it sound like the world is ganging up on Andrew unfairly, and that’s not the case. He knew what the rules were. He chose to break them. There is no unfair play here. Andrew is reaping what he sowed.


  3. Beth says:

    Last time I checked it was common law law that people had the right to earn a living. How the court can put a limit on where he can work seems just as unlawful as telling him what he can wear . It looks to me like some people would rather make an example out of him. If they want him to stop drinking that’s one thing, but to prevent him from being successful…that’s another. Who’s benefitting from this? It’s definitely not Andrew. Good luck to him.


    • Jack says:

      In his trial, Andrew cited an alcohol issue as one of the reasons he made bad choices. Therefore, it’s entirely relevant for the court to tell him he can’t be around alcohol.

      It’s not as if his career is being a bartender. It may not be easy for him to find work, and that’s a shame, but he doesn’t need to be in an environment that includes alcohol to be successful. That’s a straw man at best.


    • David says:

      Not sure what law class you took to deduce that it is a “right” to earn a living. You may want to double check that one. Yes, the court can, and does, limit where you can work. I have a friend who travels NW Ohio and SE Michigan for the work he does, and the court limited where he could work after he received an OVI. The court realizes that he needs to earn a living to pay his basic living expenses as well as court costs, fines, attorney, etc., but driving in the State of Ohio is a privilege, not a right. Therefore, in order to monitor his movements while on suspension, the court has limited where he can go for his work. It may not seem fair, but he is at least happy to be able to work where and when he can given the mistake he made in his judgement. He is also taking responsibility for his actions, unlike Andrew.


  4. Sarah says:

    Karma? This guy has a history of making some really bad choices. With choices, there are consequences – good and/or bad. He was given a deal, knew the parameters of it, accepted it and still made poor choices. I would never reward poor choices, especially repeated ones. What’s the old saying? You made your bed, now you have to sleep in it.


  5. Beth says:

    There is a law that states that you have a right to earn a living. He has an established career in radio. There aren’t many venues that he would be able to attend that do not serve alcohol. I understand that it was the bargain he made, but it was a little steep in regards to restriction of events where alcohol would be served.


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Columnist, Writer for Radio Shows across the US & Canada, Promoter, Believer, Father

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