A Galesville, Md., fire chief, whose volunteer company kept "horrible" financial records, recently used $1,300 in public funds to buy lawn mowers for his home, according to Anne Arundel officials.

Anne Arundel County auditor Joseph H. Novotny said Timothy Jones spent $1,309 belonging to the Galesville Volunteer Fire Company on a riding mower and a push lawn mower for his personal use.

Novotny said Jones returned the money during a county audit, which was ordered when it was found the company was not paying its utility bills. The auditor said Jones' wife, Brenda, was treasurer for the Galesville firefighters at the time the $1,309 was disbursed to her husband.

The auditor said records showed that the voluteer company, which received $55,680 in county grants over the past two fiscal years, purchased new lounge furniture at the same time it was not paying its gas, electric or oil bills.

Frank S. Tremel Jr., president of the Galesville fire company, blamed the firefighters' problems on the fact that "no one was a bookkeeper."

The Anne Arundel County state's attorney's office plans to review the county audit to determine if criminal law was violated in the case of the Galesville company.