Campaign signs that urged voters not to elect a Gorham School Committee candidate because of her drunken driving conviction have triggered a complaint and a review by the Maine Ethics Commission. The issue is not whether the message was a low blow, however, but whether the signs contained the proper disclosure about who posted them.

The signs opposing the election of Suzanne Phillips, an outgoing town councilor who ran for the school board on Nov. 4 and won, included a line saying they were “Paid for by keep our kids safe from drunk drivers” but didn’t list an address for the group, as required by law. Phillips lodged a complaint with the commission on Nov. 1 that the signs were “improperly marked,” a violation that carries a penalty of up to $200.

Town Councilor Matthew Robinson, who called for Phillips’ resignation from the council after her arrest in 2012, said Thursday he put up the signs but wouldn’t comment about the group named on them or about the fact that there was no address listed.

He said he and his attorney are reviewing the complaint and plan to respond.

Robinson filed an independent expenditure report Friday – 14 days after the deadline – saying the group spent $138 on the signs. He was fined $19.46 for the late filing, said Jonathan Wayne, executive director of the Maine Ethics Commission.

The commission is tentatively scheduled to consider the case at its Nov. 24 meeting, but that could be pushed back to December at Robinson’s request, Wayne said.

The signs, which show a picture of handcuffed wrists, say: “No Phillips, Arrested for OUI, Convicted of OUI.”

Robinson said he put them up because he “thought that it was important for townspeople to consider the fact that Ms. Phillips has been convicted of operating under the influence before they voted for her on the school board, where she would be, among other things, a role model to children in the community.”

Phillips said she doesn’t dispute the content of the signs, though she said several people approached her at the polls on Election Day who were “outraged” by the message.

Robinson insists he doesn’t have a personal vendetta against Phillips, but a belief that anyone elected to uphold the laws should not break them.

Since Phillips’ arrest, Robinson has been on something of a crusade to keep elected officials convicted of drunken driving from holding office. Two years ago, he led a debate on the council about whether the crime should force councilors to resign, which the council ultimately decided it shouldn’t. But the debate was reignited this year after another councilor, Benjamin Hartwell, was arrested and convicted of OUI.

The council decided to let the townspeople decide the issue by holding a referendum Nov. 4 on whether councilors convicted of Class A, B, C or D crimes, which includes OUI, should have to give up their seats. Nearly 80 percent of voters approved the measure.

Previously, the town’s charter said only that councilors had to resign if convicted of a “crime of moral turpitude.”

Phillips said she believes a definition of that term was needed, so that it couldn’t change with every sitting council. Asked why she believed she got elected despite the strong support for the charter change, Phillips said she’s heard that people were confused about the question and didn’t know there was already a standard, however vague, for forcing councilors convicted of crimes out of office.

Robinson viewed the vote differently. “It was vindication for everything I’ve been saying for the past two years,” he said.