A new, high-paying position as assistant to the mayor is being created as a possible job for Joseph P. Yeldell, the suspended director of the D.C. Department of Human Resources, according to knowledgeable sources.
A spokesman for Mayor Walter E. Washington refused to either confirm or deny the reports. "The mayor has various alternatives," Sam Eastman, the spokesman said. "We'll weigh them all and then make a decision."
The mayor suspended Yeldell as DHR director on Dec. 3 following published allegations of irregularities in hiring, leasing and contracting practices at the Human Resources Department.
During Yeldell's 120-day suspension he has been detailed to the position of chairman of the city's Board of Appeals. The assignment is to expire April 2, at which time the mayor will have to decide if he will return Yeldell to the DHR directorship, transfer him elsewhere or begin formal personnel proceedings toward some kind of disciplinary action.
Seven city reports from investigations of the allegations have disclosed no hard evidence of impropriety on Yeldell's part. The mayor said recently that he had not yet seen any reason why Yeldell could not be reinstated as DHR head.
The mayor has withheld a decision until he receives one final report on alleged abuses of leasing and contracting procedures in DHR. That report, expected to be made public soon, is being prepared by the mayor's Office of Municipal Audit and Inspection.
Appointing Yeldell to the position of assistant to the mayor could solve some political problems for Washington. It would avoid for Washington the furor and controversy thatmight arise if Yeldell is reinstated as DHR director. Furthermore the post pays the same $47,000-a-year salary that Yeldell now receives and carries the same GS-18 civil service rating. It has been difficult to find another GS-18 position for Yeldell in city government because few other city jobs merit that rank. The position of chairman of the Board of Appeals and Review is one of those posts but Yeldell has complained privately, according to sources, that the position is not challenging.