Merritt’s former top cop Stuart Seib’s first court appearance was pushed back for the fourth time Tuesday because his special prosecutor is attending a six-week trial, court heard.

The decision means the earliest Seib will appear in court is on Nov. 7, his next scheduled appearance.

Seib was charged in January with stealing and using cocaine from a police evidence locker.

He is also charged with breach of trust, dating back to June 2010.

Defense lawyer Cliff Thorstenson, acting as agent for Port Coquitlam-based attorney Neville McDougal, said special prosecutor Sheryl Wagner is tied up this month and next, and isn’t able to make time for the arraignment hearing.

“There are ongoing discussions between council in this matter,” Thorstenson said.

At the hearing, the charges will be read and Seib could make a plea.

July 4, the last time Seib was to appear, court was told he is undergoing drug treatment at a clinic.

At the time, defense lawyer Shawn Buckley, who was acting as agent for McDougal, said negotiations were underway to resolve the case without a trial.

“Mr. McDougall is waiting for Crown to make a decision on that,” Buckley said at the time.

Seib has officially resigned from the RCMP and won’t face internal discipline.

He took over the Merritt detachment in November 2011 after serving seven years in Clearwater, for a total of 18 years with the RCMP.

The first appearance was supposed to be on Feb. 21 this year.