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CHICAGO — Cockroaches are not an unfamiliar sight in Chicago’s aging City Hall, but one of substantial size had the nerve Thursday to scale the wall of the City Council chambers, just as the official in charge of pest extermination was testifying.

“Commissioner, what is your annual budget for cockroach abatement?” asked Alderman Brendan Reilly, interrupting the testimony of David Reynolds, commissioner of Fleet & Facility Management. Amid much laughter, all eyes went to the south wall of the chambers, where a large cockroach was set off in stark contrast to its off-white background.

“That is possibly the largest cockroach I’ve seen at City Hall,” said Reilly, only to be told by a colleague that wasn’t the case. He took it one step further as the hearing he led on Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposed budget neared noon, when aldermen break for a repast in the anteroom. “That guy is coming for lunch,” Reilly said.

“I was mortified,” Reynolds said later, noting pest control at the 103-year-old building was a continuous, never-victorious battle.

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