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Airport cleaner turns in lost iPad with $13,000 in case, gives away reward

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Courtesy Sunshine Cleaning Systems

Cleaning service worker Patrick Morgan, second from left, was honored for his honesty Wednesday, in front of airport officials, his bosses, colleagues and the media.

A cleaning service worker at a Florida airport found an iPad – with $13,000 stuffed in its case – and turned it in. He then gave away the small reward he got from the owner to two people in need.

But that honesty and kindness paid off for Patrick Morgan, who was honored in a recognition ceremony Wednesday, NBCMiami.com reported.

Back in December, Morgan had spotted the lost iPad and hefty sum of cash when he was working an early shift at Florida's Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

"I opened it first, and I saw all the money, and I quickly closed it back up," said Morgan, of Patrick's Cleaning Service.

Just minutes after Morgan alerted authorities about his discovery, the panicked iPad owner returned and gave Morgan $60 as a reward. Morgan then gave away some of the $60 to a homeless woman at the airport and the rest to a struggling cleaning employee.

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To honor that honesty, the Broward County Aviation Department in Florida presented Morgan with a gift and plaque on Wednesday. His employer, Sunshine Cleaning Systems, also gave him $625, equivalent to a week of paid vacation, according to NBCMiami.com. This time, he said he'll keep the money, NBCMiami.com reported.

"Patrick is such an outstanding and honest person," Larry Calufetti, president of Sunshine Cleaning Systems, said in a statement. "What he did speaks volumes about his personality."

Morgan was reportedly brought to tears during Wednesday's ceremony: "It’s just a good feeling to know that I returned it and that's the bottom line. I wasn't looking for anything."

NBCMiami.com's Julia Bagg contributed to this story.