By Amy Zimmer
DNAinfo News Editor
GRAMERCY PARK — It was an awards ceremony that lacked its guest of honor — because he never got the invitation.
New York City cab driver Zubiru Jalloh — who made headlines after returning a reported $100,000 worth of jewelry, art, photos and cash left in his taxi's backseat by John James, the twin brother of National Arts Club president, O. Aldon James — was slated to be honored in the venerable institution's East Parlor on Tuesday.
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz planned to award the father of three, who lives in Crown Heights, with a proclamation on behalf of Kings County for his good deed.
One problem: Jalloh didn't show.
"They never told me," Jalloh told DNAinfo over the phone, after the James brothers and Markowitz called off the press conference at the National Arts Club.
Someone from Markowitz's office had called him yesterday "to ask me for some information," he said, "but they never said the meeting was today. Five minutes after the event started, they called and said, 'Are you here?'"
Jalloh was home watching his kids in Brooklyn.
"They wanted me to take a taxi," Jalloh said. "I said, 'I drive a cab,' but I couldn't make it in 10 minutes."
Markowitz apologized to Jalloh and rescheduled the event for Friday morning at Brooklyn's Borough Hall, said the driver, who has gained folk celebrity status nationally and in his native country of Sierra Leone.
Markowitz told reporters that Jalloh's absence was due to a "miscommunication."
During the abbreviated ceremony, Aldon James praised Jalloh's honesty.
"It's an example from our point of view of the decency which really runs this city and makes it work," Aldon James said of the cabbie.
James has faced scrutiny recently for trash talking some of his board members after allegations surfaced of hoarding antiques, art and other flea market buys purchased by him, his brother and their friend, Steven Leitner, in several apartments in the club's building.