Gerardo Gamboa never sought out the attention and recognition for himself.
The way he saw it, the taxicab driver was simply doing the right thing by recently returning a bag with $300,000 cash left in his car to its rightful owner — a professional poker player.
Yet word for his good deed made national headlines, and Clark County commissioners on Tuesday recognized the unassuming Gamboa, a taxicab driver since 1989.
Gamboa stepped up to the stage to quietly accept the proclamation. Passing the microphone, he politely let others do the talking.
Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak called Gamboa’s honesty a “selfless act” and praised his integrity.
“While other people might be tempted, he never was,” Sisolak said.
Gamboa attended the commission meeting with his wife, Elsa.
“I didn’t expect all of this here,” he said afterwards. “I’m just doing the right thing. I just needed to return the money.”
A company representative also praised Gamboa, a driver with Yellow Checker Star Transportation Company. The company named him its “driver of the year.”
Joel Willden II, the company’s field operations manager, called him a “fine example, noting that the industry has had its share of negative media publicity.
“He’s the true story — his honesty and integrity,” Willden said.
Gamboa’s path from obscurity to fame for his honesty began simply enough — with a trip at the Bellagio Hotel to pick a passenger up. The doorman at the Bellagio opening the car up for the passenger saw the bag and brought it to Gamboa’s attention, telling him it was full of chocolate.
Instead, the bag was packed with $300,000 cash. The money went to its rightful owner after help from a local television station and Las Vegas police.
The gambler, who wished to remain anonymous, gave Gamboa a $10,000 reward.
Contact reporter Ben Botkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-405-9781. Follow him on Twitter @BenBotkin1.