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Officials: criminals being used in oil spill cleanup

By Ethan Harp, CNN

(CNN) -- A Louisiana councilman said Friday that people with criminal records are among those hired to clean up the Gulf Coast oil spill disaster.

"The last count that I had, there were about 180-plus workers that were asked to leave because of criminal histories that they had outstanding issues with, criminal violations that were drawing quite a bit of concerns for the locals in those communities," Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts told CNN's Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

"We have a lot of elderly that live in Grand Isle," said Roberts, adding, "There was some rowdiness, some uncontrolled activity, and I'm just happy that the state and local law enforcement stepped in to address that and force the contractor to be accountable to who they're bringing there to work."

In an appearance on CNN's "Campbell Brown," Roberts also questioned the training of those cleanup workers, asserting that hazardous materials -- or "hazmat" -- suits, had been disposed of improperly.

Showing one suit he said had been left in the dumpster of a restaurant, Roberts said, "If these workers... had been trained appropriately and correctly in dealing with hazmat, they would know better than how to dispose of these suits... [We] heard today from residents that they were finding them in their backyards, they were finding them in the culverts and drainage ditches. That's just not acceptable."

BP declined to comment on Roberts' assertion.