By Todd Wineburner
State Treasurer Dan Rutherford oversees a vault full of unclaimed property, and he’d like to get it cleared out. That’s the simple logic behind an online auction that’s taking place on the Treasurer’s website this week. Nearly 19-thousand items are up for bid, ranging from precious metals to a book signed by baseball legend Mickey Mantle. Rutherford says the auction pages resemble ebay’s format, but he says using the state's Ibid system saves thousands of dollars on each auction. All items up for bid have been appraised and can’t sell for less than 75 percent of that value. Rutherford says the auctions are a good way to liquidate items, but he stresses that the first goal is to return the property to its rightful owner. His office returned over 100 million dollars worth of unclaimed property last year, and he hopes to pass that figure this year. Rutherford talked about the auction during a recent stop at his office in Pontiac.