Tue. 2pm: Salem cop suspended for OVI charge

SALEM – A police officer here has been suspended without pay after being charged with drunken driving over the weekend.

Gary A. Poage, 47, of Salem, was charged with OVI and marked lanes after a traffic stop at 2:32 a.m. Sunday on South Broad Street, blowing a .260 during a portable breath test. The legal limit in Ohio is 0.08.

According to the Canfield Police Department report, he was placed under administrative license suspension and his driver’s license was seized, so he’s not permitted to drive. He has not worked since the incident because he was already scheduled to be off.

When initially contacted about the arrest Monday, Salem police Chief J.T. Panezott said they were looking at their options. He met with Mayor John Berlin and city Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst Monday afternoon and planned to speak with Poage this morning to discuss the situation. Poage has been a full-time patrolman with the department since June 1993.

According to records on the Mahoning County Court website, he’s scheduled to be arraigned for the misdemeanor charges at 5 p.m. Wednesday in Canfield.