Former Salem cop pleads no contest to OVI charge

SALEM – Former Salem police officer Gary Poage pleaded no contest and was found guilty of operating a vehicle under the influence first offense during a pretrial hearing Wednesday night, according to Mahoning County Court online records.

The court entry said the 47-year-old Salem area resident was fined $1,075, with $575 suspended, sentenced to 180 days in jail with 177 days suspended and ordered to attend a 72-hour intervention program in lieu of the remaining three days of jail.

His license was suspended for six months, with credit for the pretrial suspension from his date of arrest, and occupational driving privileges granted. He’ll be on probation for a year. A charge of marked lanes was dismissed.

The hearing took place in Mahoning County Court in Canfield.

Poage had been charged with drunken driving after a traffic stop early on Feb. 10 in Canfield while he was off-duty. He was suspended without pay from the Salem Police Department a couple of days later pending the outcome of the case and then resigned on Feb. 15.

He had been with the Salem Police Department since June 1993.