Lawrence H. Mirel is about to turn 70, but retirement is the furthest thing from his mind. The District's commissioner of insurance, securities and banking said he will leave government to join Wiley Rein & Fielding as a partner in its insurance practice on Oct. 3.

"I serve at the pleasure of the mayor, and he may or may not run for re-election, so I started thinking about the future," said Mirel, an appointee of Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D), whose ambivalence over whether to run for re-election has played out publicly over many months.

Mirel -- who represented insurance companies before the District government until he was appointed to regulate them in 1999 -- said he is comfortable traveling back through the revolving door between the public and private sectors.

"I will, of course, pay strict attention," he said, to rules that bar him for one year from representing clients before the District government and permanently from becoming involved in any specific case he handled as commissioner.

But there's no rule to bar him from pleading his clients' cases before the regulators from other states who became his friends thanks to his active role in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

"At any NAIC meeting there's always a bunch of former commissioners hanging around," he said. "I'll be among them."