Television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, who allegedly picked up a prostitute last week in California, is temporarily relinquishing leadership of his ministry, his son said yesterday.

Donnie Swaggart told employees at the Swaggart Family Worship Center in Baton Rouge, La., that he will temporarily be head administrator of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries while his father undergoes professional counseling and medical care.

He said all crusades would be canceled and that his father and mother, Frances, are near exhaustion.

The statement said the evangelical empire's board of directors will be restructured and a business board established, but Jimmy and Frances Swaggart won't be on it. "They will serve in an advisory role," Donnie Swaggart said.

Donnie Swaggart met with ministry employees for 20 minutes. He asked them to pray for his father's "speedy recovery, that Dad may continue to do what the Lord called him to do, and to not give any information to the media."

The elder Swaggart's latest troubles began when he was stopped by police in Indio, Calif., on Friday for traffic violations. Rosemary Garcia, who said she is a prostitute, was in the car and later told reporters Swaggart asked for sex.

In 1988 Swaggart resigned from the Assemblies of God, the nation's largest Pentecostal denomination, after rival minister Marvin Gorman released photos of him with a New Orleans prostitute.

Swaggart faces a series of lawsuits by his creditors and a $10 million jury verdict against him and others for defaming Gorman.

Hunting Gives Him a Kick

Idaho Gov. Cecil Andrus and another man were kicked by a mule during a hunting trip yesterday and suffered minor injuries, the governor's spokesman said. Andrus, Jimmy Carter's interior secretary and a four-term governor, was "fine, suffering from cuts and lacerations on his nose," his spokesman said. He was taken by National Guard helicopter to a Boise hospital. Richard Meiers, a state Fish and Game Commission member and longtime Andrus hunting companion, was taken by another helicopter to another Boise hospital. The accident occurred in a mountainous area 40 miles northeast of Boise. Someone in the hunting party with Andrus shot an elk, and while they were loading the animal on a mule, the mule kicked both Andrus and Meiers.

Mariette Hartley's Survival Story

Actress Mariette Hartley, the perennial portrayer of wholesomeness, will be playing a different kind of role here tomorrow night. Speaking at the Washington Hebrew Congregation, Hartley will address her painful years as the child of an alcoholic and a suicide victim, as well as her own bout with alcoholism. "People are hungry for stories of survival," she said in a interview from her home in California. "I can't do it without revealing myself, and if some people can grab on to that, maybe I can help them. I think it's very important to show what goes on behind closed doors in seemingly normal households." Hartley's talk will benefit the St. Francis Center, a nonprofit organization that counsels people in grief and bereavement.

Thatcher's Memoirs

It is, in the words of HarperCollins Worldwide CEO George Craig, "a truly great publishing event." The event: HarperCollins has acquired the global rights (with the exception of Japan) to the memoirs of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Eddie Bell of HarperCollins U.K. said the first volume, due in 1993, will cover her 11 1/2 years as prime minister, and the second will be about her prior life.

Paul Desmond's Enduring Gift

Before influential jazz saxophonist Paul Desmond died of cancer in 1977, he bequeathed the royalties from his recordings and compositions to the American Red Cross. Considering the average sales generated by jazz titles, this might have seemed little more than a token gesture, but 14 years later, payments to the Red Cross have surpassed $1 million. This is due in large part to Desmond's work with pianist Dave Brubeck, including the song "Take Five," a Desmond composition that became Brubeck's signature tune and is still a strong seller. Noel Silverman, executor of the Desmond estate, said that when Desmond was asked why he had chosen the Red Cross as his principal beneficiary, he said simply, "They're a good outfit."