Former Salem hockey coached jailed for failing to pay back families
SALEM – A former youth hockey coach was jailed on Thursday for failing to pay back a group of 'hockey moms' after taking money for a hockey tournament, then never registering the team.
Steven Poliskey, 38, was found in contempt by Judge Michael Sullivan after a hearing on Thursday in 10th Circuit Court in Salem.
Poliskey was convicted on June 13 on a misdemeanor count of theft by misapplication of property as part of a plea deal.
On Thursday, Sullivan ordered Poliskey to serve two weeks behind bars at Rockingham County jail. The sentence was part of a suspended 30-day jail term that Poliskey received back in June when he agreed to pay roughly $750 in restitution, prosecutors said.
Salem police received complaints from five families who say that Poliskey collected money for a youth hockey tournament then never registered the team for the competition. The coach then failed to return the money to the families.
Poliskey was required to pay back the full amount of restitution by March 12 in order to stay out of jail. He made a $220 payment in October, and told his probation officer he would pay $100 a month until the debt fully paid off, but that did not happen.
That prompted Salem prosecutor Jason Grosky to file a court motion asking a judge to impose the suspended sentence and find Poliskey in contempt of court.
During the court hearing, Sullivan asked whether Poliskey essentially stole money from "hockey moms."
Defense lawyer Neil Reardon asked the judge to not jail Poliskey and allow to him pay off the debt in full on Thursday. An acquaintance had agreed to cover the debt. Sullivan commended Reardon for advocating on behalf of Poliskey, but concluded the former coaches actions were 'scurrilous' and warranted jail time.
Poliskey was given an additional six month sentence on the contempt charge that was suspended for two years. He began serving 14 of the 30-day sentence on Thursday, and the full balance of the restitution was paid on Thursday.
Poliskey helped coach youth hockey in Salem between 2011 and 2012. The league terminated him in January 2012 once they became aware of the theft.