Retrieving a river items entity data


I'm using Elgg 2.3.14 and I need to retrieve the data within the entity of river items to add custom properties to a new river menu item.  In my start.php I'm registering a new plugin hook handler for my menu item like: 

elgg_register_plugin_hook_handler('register', 'menu:river', 'river_menu_handler');

In my handler I'm doing: 

function river_menu_handler($hook, $type, $items, $params) {   
    if (elgg_in_context('widgets')) {   
        return $items;   
    $item = $params['item'];    
    $object = $item->getObjectEntity();   
    if (elgg_instanceof($object, 'object', 'blog')){   
       $auth_id = $object->$auth_id);   
    $options = array(   
        'name' => 'verify',   
        'href' => '',   
        'text' => elgg_view_icon('round-checkmark'),   
        'title' => 'This post has been verified',   
        'priority' => 200,   
    $items[] = ElggMenuItem::factory($options);    
    return $items;  

I have a custom property that is stored with every blog post when it's created called $auth_id.  How can I retrieve this and other values from the blog entity after getting the object from $item->getObjectEntity()?

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