Apr 11, 2013 1:47 AM by Tom McNamara
TUCSON - A west-side pizza place suddenly went belly-up, leaving employees holding the crust.
Former workers at a franchise-owned 'Papa Johns' said they had little warning the place was being shut down.
And even worse, they told us the owner still owes them a lot of dough.
Former employees Lucinda Beachy and Matt Carter showed up for work one day, and said they found the 'Papa Johns' on Silverbell closed for good. Locked shut by the landlord.
They told us no more pizza meant no more paychecks for about nine workers here.
The former employees said there were signs the restaurant was struggling.
For one thing, they told us the restaurant often didn't have adequate ingredients to make the pizzas. And said that lost them customers.
Beachy and Carter said the store's owners, 'KM-1 Enterpirses, told them another 'Papa Johns' franchisee was taking over the store, so they'd keep their jobs.
But now, they're out of a job and several weeks of back pay.
We tried to reach the owner in several places, but no luck.
We did reach his wife by phone. She's listed on the incorporation papers for the 'Papa Johns.' But she declined to speak with us, and hung-up the phone.
All of this leaves former employees out in the cold, like yesterday's pizza.
Here's the rub - these same owners KM1 Enterprises, suddenly shut down another Papa Johns pizza place in Thatcher last year. The News 4 Tucson Investigators spoke to the former General Manager of that store today. He tells us, he and other store employees in Thatcher are still owed back pay.