2 minutes reading time (383 words)

Former Merritt Mountie chief could avoid trial

Merritt News, merrittnews.net
BYLINE: Robin Poon, News Reporter
Link to Article

Merritt, B.C.


A former RCMP commander charged with stealing cocaine from an evidence locker missed another scheduled court appearance Tuesday and may ultimately avoid a trial altogether.

Shawn Buckley, a Kamloops lawyer speaking on behalf of Seib and his defence counsel, Neville McDougall, said in Merritt court Tuesday, "There are negotiations underway to resolve this file without a trial."

Seib faces two charges of theft under $5,000, and one charge of breach of trust by a public officer.
A 17-year veteran of the RCMP, Seib took over as head of the Merritt RCMP detachment in November 2011. Before that, he served as head of the Clearwater detachment.

The RCMP suspended Seib in January 2012 after allegations that he stole and used cocaine from a police evidence locker surfaced.

In court Tuesday, Buckley passed on McDougall's request that Seib's appearance date be moved to September since he did not believe a resolution could be reached by July 17, the next time Merritt court is in session. McDougall himself is not available for the August court dates, Buckley added.

"The reason he was hoping for the September date was so he could have a personal appearance," said Buckley. McDougall's office is in Kelowna.

William Burrows of the Kamloops Crown noted that a prosecutor at the Port Coquitlam office is responsible for the case. That lawyer, Sheryl Wagner, was absent from Merritt court Tuesday as well.

Burrows said the Crown did not oppose pushing Seib's next court date to September. He added that he believes Seib is currently in a drug treatment centre, making court attendance impossible.

The Crown does not require a personal appearance from McDougall, said Burrows.

The court granted the defence's request and scheduled Seib's next appearance for Sept. 4 at 9:30 a.m. in Merritt court.

Sgt. Rob Vermeulen confirmed in May that Seib had resigned from the RCMP. As such, he is no longer subject to any disciplinary action under the RCMP Act, Vermeulen said.

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