Janitor’s act of honesty is rewarded

DOWNEY − If you found a hundred dollar bill on the ground, and nobody was around, would you keep the money or turn it in to the proper authorities?

Carlos Baca, a 31-year-old custodian at Warren High School, found himself in just that situation last November. He did the right thing, and for his honesty, Baca was awarded the money today after nobody claimed the cash.

“It was the right thing to do,” said Baca, who is contracted to work at the school through The Arc’s employment program for people with developmental disabilities.

Baca was cleaning the campus the afternoon of Nov. 18 when he found the $100 bill near the school’s administration building. He immediately turned in the money to office clerk Andrea Ramirez.

“He came in here and said, ‘I found money. I’m bringing it because it’s not mine,’” said Ramirez. “We’ve had people turn in money before, but never a hundred dollars.”

The cash was turned over to ASB treasurer Connie Caddell for safekeeping. With 3,800 students on campus, plus 200 adult faculty members, tracking down the bill’s rightful owner was impossible.

After three months, following school policy, the $100 went to Baca for his honesty.

He received the money Friday inside the office of Principal Laura Rivas.

“He could have easily put the money in his pocket and nobody would have known,” said Rivas. “But he didn’t.”

“Character Counts is a big part of what we do here at Warren,” added assistant principal Don Rounds. “We define character by what you do when nobody is watching.”

Asked what he would do with the money, Baca thought for a second before replying, “Save it.”



Published: March 20, 2014 - Volume 12 - Issue 49

Eric Pierce