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Bidder's remorse: Winner of eBay DWI chair auction backs out of deal

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news Willmar, 56201
West Central Tribune
(320) 235-6769 customer support
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

Proctor is having problems getting rid of the internationally famous motorized chair seized from a drunk driver.

The high bidder for the chair said he never meant to enter a $10,999.99 bid on eBay.

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"I am surprised that someone would bid on it and then try to back out of the contract," Proctor Chief of Police Walter Wobig said Tuesday. "The individual is the winning bidder. I turned it over to the city attorney and we'll see what the city wants to do about it. Probably within a day or two I'll know what we are going to do with it again."

Proctor contacted Clayton Adler of Cupertino, Calif., when he didn't submit the required $2,000 deposit within 48 hours after the auction closed Thursday. On Monday, Adler e-mailed the city, saying: "I apologize, but there seems to be a mistake. I did not mean to bid this amount, as well as I cannot afford this. I am truly sorry for the mix up and the wasted time."

The city gave the second-highest bidder a chance to purchase the chair. However, that person, who bid $9,999.99, didn't respond.

Police seized the chair in August 2008 after its former owner drove it into a parked vehicle after drinking. The custom-made chair is powered by a lawnmower engine and features running lights, a stereo, a rear-view mirror, a magazine rack and cup holder.

The chair actually went on the auction block twice. The first time it was listed as a La-Z-Boy. But eBay pulled the chair from auction on Nov. 2 when the manufacturer pointed out that the chair was not a La-Z-Boy. At that time, the top bid for the motorized recliner was more than $43,000.

"Someday I will get rid of this chair," Wobig said. "Someday this chair will leave the area."

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