Dickson County Register of Deeds Jackie Farthing said she might have to cut one of her three employees now that she will no longer be allowed to use funds from a data fee to supplement their salaries. During testimony at the February trial of her lawsuit against the county, Farthing said she has been using money from a $2 fee for each document recorded in her office to add to the salaries of her employees for the past 10 years. The legislature authorized the fee to create revenue for county offices to use in upgrading technology and training. Farthing told commissioners Monday she allocated about $3,500 from the data fee this year to increase her employees’ pay 30-81 cents an hour above what is budgeted. But Budget and Accounts Director Don Hall said state auditors “caught wind” in the last 2-3 years of several offices across the state using the fees for salaries and said that practice must stop. Hall presented commissioners with an amendment that calls for $3,568 to be moved from other areas of the register’s budget to make up for the loss. But Commissioner Tony Adams said he is “troubled” by the fact that Farthing decided to give her employees raises when the commission did not approve increases for other county workers. “You’re paying them more than what was budgeted,” Adams said. Farthing said county workers have gone almost five years without raises and she began using the data fee funds in 2003 after learning that other elected officials across the state were doing the same thing and that state auditors have never previously found anything wrong with it. “I will do whatever it takes to get them more money,” Farthing said, saying she could be forced to cut one of her positions in order to find money to make up the salary difference. Farthing sued the county last year after raises she requested were not included in the current budget. While a chancellor ruled in the county’s favor, Farthing is appealing the decision and just prior to its work session Monday night the commission met with its attorneys for 30 minutes behind closed doors to discuss that appeal. Commissioners voted to forward the amendment to Farthing’s budget to the May 20 meeting when the register will report from what funds the $3,568 can be taken to be moved into her salary budget.