Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Wirs Sentenced to Time Served

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Wirs Sentenced to Time Served

Article excerpt

Peter Wirs was scheduled to be released from jail Sept. 30 after a county judge sentenced him to four to 23 months on a $25,000 bad check charge arising from his fanciful efforts to publish two daily newspapers in York, Pa.

York County President Judge Joseph E. Erb approved Wirs release since the self-proclaimed publisher has been held in prison -- first in New York City's Rikers Island and later in York County Jail -- since Feb. 10.

Erb ordered Wirs to pay court costs and $25,000 in restitution to the Gaithersburg, Md., printer who produced 80,000 sets of an elaborate subscription offer for Wirs' two non-existent York dailies.

The Sept. 28 sentencing -- as reported by Jerry L. Gleason, a staff writer in the York bureau of the Harrisburg Patriot-News -- had all the earmarks of Wirs' misadventures in publishing.

Wirs' public defender told the judge that Wirs "has no assets at all," reported Gleason. Wirs, however, quickly interjected that his Poor Richards Corp. "just had its first year of profitability," a period when Wirs was either in jail or being sought on a fugitive warrant.

"I have full confidence retribution will be made," Wirs said.

Appearing in the court bearded and using crutches, the 37-year-old Wirs asked that supervision of his 19 months of probation be transferred to New York City. The request was approved.

Gleason reported that Wits had not obtained a psychiatric evaluation as ordered in a previous conviction for bad checks (E&P, April 6, 1991).

Wirs also refused to participate in a psychiatric evaluation during his confinement in York. …

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