The smell in Madison County's Courthouse on Thursday was "god-awful," according to an eye, and nose, witness.

Workers in the Circuit Clerk's office say that a customer, who had been sprayed by a skunk the night before, walked in to pay a bill in the traffic and misdemeanor division at 10:30 a.m.

"I don't know if he did or did not shower," said deputy Lt. D.A. Mooshegian, who works at the courthouse security station. "All I know is soap and water doesn't remove the smell. It was a god-awful odor. It was terrible."

Deputy circuit clerk Donna Grizzle said the man admitted that he had been sprayed by a skunk.

"He walked up to the counter to make a payment, and I noticed the smell," Grizzle said. "I didn't think anyone else could smell it, and (then) the ladies in the back started spraying Lysol."

Consequently, the air conditioning in the building was turned on and windows were opened, according to Chief Deputy Circuit Clerk Judy Nelson.

Mooshegian said the courthouse ventilation system was reversed to remove the odor.

The temperature in Edwardsville today is in the mid 40s.

The smell was cleared by 1:30 p.m., but the courthouse remained cold.

"The employees said they would tolerate the cold to alleviate the odor," Mooshegian said.

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