Andrew Z violates intervention but allowed to continue programWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
A Wood County judge found radio host Andrew Zepeda to have violated the terms of his intervention in lieu of conviction by entering establishments where alcohol is served, but allowed Zepeda to continue with the intervention program.
The hearing was held July 29 before Judge Alan R. Mayberry, who scolded Zepeda for “thumbing his nose” at the court system with his behavior and warned that another violation will result in a conviction, which could include incarceration.
Zepeda entered the two-year supervision program on Feb. 4 after pleading guilty to three felony charges related to a break-in of his Perrysburg pizzeria.
Zepeda was found to be in violation of the condition that stipulates he “shall not frequent any establishment serving alcoholic beverages or associate with those who are consuming alcoholic beverages.”
A Perrysburg Police Division detective and other witnesses stated Zepeda was outside Fat Fish Blue/Funny Bone talking to patrons on June 23,the night one of his radio show cast members hosted an event at the business.
Zepeda also appeared on Fat Fish Blue/Funny Bone video surveillance July 2 walking past the restaurant’s bar area to enter the comedy club.
Zepeda also appeared in a music video filmed at Quimby’s at the Park in May. The video, featuring the song “One More Drink,” by local artist Yvonne Ramos, shows groups of people dancing and drinking in a club setting.
The video shows Zepeda drinking what appears to be champagne, but the video producer and other witnesses said it was water and that no alcoholic beverages were consumed during the short time Zepeda was present during the shoot. The restaurant was closed at the time of the filming.
Zepeda’s lawyer, Beau Harvey, disputed the meaning of the word frequent, arguing that to enter a bar for business reasons is different than to frequent a bar to purchase food or alcohol.
He also stated it was unrealistic to expect Zepeda to remain successfully employed – another stipulation of his supervision – when he is not allowed to be anywhere that serves alcohol. A request by Zepeda in June to amend his conditions to allow him to enter bars was denied.
In her closing remarks, assistant Wood County Assistant Prosecutor Melissa Schiffel, said Zepeda knew what he was doing was wrong.
“Your honor, I believe the defendant is thumbing his nose at the court with his conduct,” Schiffel said.
Interrupting Harvey’s assertion that he didn’t believe Zepeda was thumbing his nose at the court, Judge Mayberry agreed with the prosecutor’s assessment.
“I think he clearly is, counsel. … thumbing his nose is a great phrase for it,” Mayberry said. “He obviously knows the rule; he’s just thumbing his nose at the court.”
Turning to Zepeda, the judge continued:
“Do not enter a bar. Period. … Do not enter Chuck E. Cheese if it sells beer. Do not enter Fat Fish Blue. … Do not be in a video where you’re pretending to be drinking at a bar.
“It’s seeing how far you can stick your toe over the line and doing it in the media – and thumbing your nose at the court and thumbing your nose at probation the entire time. It’s insulting to the professionalism of the probation department and it’s insulting to the court to think that just because you are a celebrity you can get away with this. …
Mayberry stated that if Zepeda is caught inside any establishment with a liquor license again, he will be back in court and found guilty of his charges.
“I’m not playing this game anymore Mr. Zepeda. You think it’s fun, to toe the line and do all this stuff in the media, and try to embarrass everybody; it’s not fun. It’s not like dealing with my teenage kid, where I set a rule and they said ‘Well I didn’t intend to do it, I didn’t do it maliciously.’ You’re doing it. You’re breaking the rule. You do it again and you’re going to be guilty. You understand me this time? Any questions about it? No bars, period. You can continue on intervention in lieu, but this is the last time.”
In November, Zepeda was charged with theft, complicity to breaking and entering, and failure to remit sales tax in connection with an October break-in at his business, Andrew Z’s Sportz Pizzeria, at Levis Commons in Perrysburg.
On Feb. 4, Zepeda pleaded guilty to the three charges and entered an intervention program for alcohol abuse, which he completed in May.
All charges will be cleared from his record if he successfully completes his two-year supervision, but if he violates any conditions, he could face the charges again.
Other stipulations of Zepeda’s probation include that he undergo random drug and alcohol testing, attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and have no contact with David Wright or his uncle Paul Zepeda, the two others charged in connection with the break-in.
Zepeda debuted his new weekday morning radio show “Andrew Z in the Morning: The People’s Show,” on July 18 on Cumulus station 100.7 The Vibe. The contract was signed July 8.
Zepeda was formerly the host of one of the region’s top-rated morning show, “Andrew Z in the Morning” on 92.5 KISS FM. His noncompete agreement with Clear Channel was up July 1.