A Gorham town councilor was fined $25 Monday by the state agency that oversees Maine election laws for not properly disclosing that he had put up signs urging voters not to elect a school board candidate because of an OUI conviction.

Town Councilor Matthew Robinson was fined by the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. He acknowledged that he did not include a disclaimer saying that he paid for the signs, a violation of state law.

The law says that signs or political communications advocating or opposing a candidate must include the name and mailing address of the group or individual who paid for the advertisement. The violation carried a maximum penalty of $200.

The five-member commission reduced the fine after determining that Robinson was likely unaware of the requirement.

Robinson said he thought the signs were more informational, although he acknowledged that he didn’t think Suzanne Phillips, the school board candidate, should be elected.

“I never tried to hide the fact that it was me,” said Robinson, who said he told town officials that he had put up the signs and also publicized it on Facebook.

The signs in question showed a picture of handcuffed wrists and said: “No Phillips, Arrested for OUI, Convicted of OUI.”

The signs included a line that said: “Paid for by keep our kids safe from drunk drivers.”

Phillips won her school board contest Nov. 4.

Robinson later filed an independent expenditure report after Phillips filed a formal complaint with the Maine ethics commission.

Phillips, an outgoing town councilor, was arrested for OUI in 2012. Robinson said he had been on a crusade to prevent elected officials convicted of drunken driving from holding office. In 2012, he led a Town Council debate about whether the crime should force councilors to resign. The same debate was rekindled this year when Town Councilor Benjamin Hartwell was arrested and convicted of OUI.

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

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