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Published: Saturday, 4/16/2011

Ex-radio host faces new charges over eatery

Zepeda pleads not guilty to tax misdemeanors

Zepeda Zepeda

DEFIANCE — After fending off criminal charges in Wood County, former restaurateur and KISS-FM radio host Andrew Zepeda was arraigned in Defiance Municipal Court Friday on two new charges related to a now-closed restaurant in that city.

Mr. Zepeda, 41, of Perrysburg pleaded not guilty to first-degree misdemeanor charges of failure to permit tax commissioners to examine books, records, and papers to determine payroll, and failure to withhold or pay tax from employees of a restaurant he ran for a brief time in Defiance. A pretrial hearing was set for May 10.

Defiance Tax Commissioner Mary Boals said Friday she had received complaints from some former employees of the restaurant, but when she tried to look into the matter, she was unable to examine the business records.

She said Mr. Zepeda’s restaurant on Baltimore Street was open for a brief time between May and July of last year.

Mr. Zepeda was to have been arraigned on the charges April 8 but failed to appear, prompting Defiance authorities to issue a warrant for his arrest. Perrysburg Police Deputy Chief Mike Gilmore said one of his officers picked up Mr. Zepeda at his Perrysburg home just after noon Wednesday and took him to the Wood County jail.

He was released about 3:20 p.m. after posting $2,000 bond.

Last November, Mr. Zepeda was indicted by a Wood County grand jury on felony charges of failure to remit sales tax, theft, and complicity to breaking and entering stemming from a break-in at the pizzeria he had owned at Levis Commons in Perrysburg. In February, he pleaded guilty to the charges, but was not convicted.

Instead, Common Pleas Judge Alan Mayberry granted his motion for intervention in lieu of conviction. Mr. Zepeda was ordered to repay more than $40,000 to Ohio for back sales tax and undergo a chemical dependency evaluation and comply with recommendations. He was to consume no alcohol or frequent bars and undergo random drug and alcohol testing, among other requirements, the next two years.

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