Bob's Boathouse speaks up after employee's checks bounce

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SARASOTA, Fla.- It's seems like one controversy after the next for the owners of Bob's Boathouse restaurant.  Everyone from former employees, to contractors, to the county government claims the restaurant owes them money.

The Bob's Boathouse controversy began with several failed opening dates. Then, when it finally opened, there were noise and light complaints from neighbors; and now they're bouncing checks.

Former employees say after months of training, orientation, and officially working for over 3 weeks, their first checks bounced.

“We've been waiting and waiting for checks. Checks should have been, you know, first check should have been 1,400 bucks just for all the orientation, and waiting, and then the 3 weeks that we worked with no pay check,” says Brian Fowler, a former employee of Bob's Boathouse.

Fowler says he is one of many employees who have either quit because of bounced checks or been fired for complaining about not being paid for their work.

“It was a big family, supposed to be and it was all about 'family this, and family that', 'if you make it here, you're here, I'll give you a hundred bucks out of my pocket, cash',” says Fowler.

"I hope that we're all working in a good Christian way to make everybody happy, you know,” says Tom LeFevre, the general manager of Bob's Boathouse.

ABC 7 spoke exclusively with LeFevre and his lawyer Thursday afternoon, and we asked if his employees have been paid in full.  “We started on a very, very, very tough note after a long period of time, but everybody's been paid and everybody will be paid,” says LaFevre.

Former employees say that only some have been given legitimate checks now, but claim those checks are not for the full amount they are owed.

Fowler says he is left without proof of the hours he worked because they clock in with paper time cards, and now those cards are nowhere to be found.

“They lost them, they can't find them. They don't know where they're at,” says Fowler.

Tom LeFevre has also been accused of not paying subcontractors.  "We do have some sub-contractors that are in question that haven't done some work and finished some works, but everybody will legally be taken care of by Mr. Aker,” says LaFevre.

Lefevre's attorney, James Aker, will be handling the various allegations and the outstanding fees that are due to the county.

We spoke with the county and they have confirmed LeFevre's lawyers will meet with County Utilities to discuss outstanding fees of over $77,000. They have until December 30th to pay, or Bob's Boathouse will lose their certificate of occupancy.