What do you do if you find a wallet alongside the road, faded and damaged but containing $120 in cash?
For John Klapper and Frank "Bud" Blazek, the answer was a no-brainer: Turn it in and track down the rightful owner.
"I think it's another reason we're proud of our state employees," said Gov. Brian Sandoval. "It was a small gesture that truly meant a lot to a prominent citizen in California and his son."
Sandoval was referring to the letter his office received thanking the two maintenance workers for their honesty. It was signed by Mono County Superior Court Judge Stan Eller, who said his son lost the wallet all the way back in September 2010.
Eller's letter said Klapper and Blazek "deserve special commendation for their attention to detail and honesty."
"We turn in everything," Klapper said. "We're honest people, and it's good to hear thank you once in a while."
Sandoval sent each man a handwritten note of thanks and a bronze governor's medallion.
"It was very nice," said Klapper.
Klapper said Blazek actually picked up the wallet along U.S. 95, about 20 miles north of Tonopah. And he said it was administrative assistant Toni North who tracked down Bryce Eller, owner of the wallet.
"She had to do quite a bit to find an address," he said.
Klapper said part of the problem is that the wallet and its contents were badly faded and weathered. It was lost in September 2010, nearly 18 months ago.
"We had a flood down through there last summer, and it looked like it was there since then," he said.
Klapper said that's far from the only thing the Tonopah NDOT crew has picked up during the years.
"We've found wallets before," he said. "We find tools and stuff like that. I found a gun once - in a case and everything."
He said that if they can't identify the owner of found property, it's held for 30 days in case some one comes to claim it.
Sandoval said that state employees have taken a lot of criticism and that workers such as Klapper and Blazek give the public a better impression of what he believes the majority of state workers are like.