By New Times
By Connor Radnovich
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Ray Stern
By Keegan Hamilton
By Matthew Hendley
By Monica Alonzo
By Monica Alonzo
Jared Flowers says Weymouth told him that he was shutting down Campeones and changing the locks.
"I told my staff to leave and not come back until I told them otherwise," Flowers says. "It was like a scene from a movie, a bad movie."
Records show that a few weeks after closing Campeones, Weymouth filed for bankruptcy on behalf of JCC Campeones — the company from which he recently had been booted by Wergin and O'Connor.
The latter two men say they knew nothing about the extraordinary bankruptcy petition until after the fact, and it would take them months (and substantial legal fees) to undo it in federal court.
"We were kind of shell-shocked at first," says Wergin. "I've been in business a long time, and I'd never been through anything like this. The bankruptcy froze all the assets, and we couldn't just walk into Campeones and grab our stuff and leave."
He also says he didn't know that Weymouth had collected a whole new set of investors and was planning to reopen the site under two names — AZ Country and Cooperstown (note the lack of an apostrophe to distinguish it from Alice Cooper's establishment).
One of those new investors was Bob Colburn, a Phoenix man who turned over $175,000 to Weymouth, funds he says he foolishly had pulled from his 401(k).
"I had a lawyer check Brian out, and we thought he had control of Campeones and could do what he wanted with the site," Colburn says. "I became a 22 percent owner, and I thought everything was going to be great." (Weymouth also received about $80,000 from Brandon Miles, a young Tempe man whose father, supposedly a friend of Weymouth's, had died and left him money.)
AZ Country opened in July 2010, the same month that Julio Cesar Chavez sent the second of two letters to Weymouth formally terminating their long-dead business relationship.
The new restaurant lasted only a few months before it, too, was shuttered.
"I lost everything to that son of a bitch," Colburn says.
Colburn says he was driving by Campeones/AZ Country on the night in November 2010 when Weymouth and others were loading the restaurant equipment into rental trucks — the action for which Weymouth now faces felony charges.
"I had been asking Brian — begging Brian to buy me out — to give me my money back," Colburn says. "He wasn't responding. I didn't even know they had closed AZ Country. The whole thing was outrageous."
Last August, Brian Weymouth filed a notice of claim against Maricopa County and several officials, including Sheriff Arpaio and the deputy county attorney prosecuting him in the theft case.
The claim, often the precursor to a lawsuit, says he will seek millions of dollars for "pain and suffering" and other alleged damages to himself and his family.
Weymouth asked county officials to contact former state Attorney General Grant Woods, "who will be litigating the case," if they had questions.
But Woods tells New Times via a Facebook message, "Re Brian: Known him for years. Don't represent him on anything. He talked to me several times about this situation. I was hopeful it could be resolved, but nobody seemed interested . . . I also know and respect Alice [Cooper]. So I don't know what went on here, but again I wish they could have worked it out and moved on."
Ed Tobin, a Tempe insurance agent who was a partner in the abbreviated (and costly) AZ Country project, pegs Brian Weymouth this way:
"I know what Brian is all about — everyone does. Some people would say he's an evil sociopath, but not me. He's just a guy. You just have to make sure you keep your eyes wide open when you're around him."