Prince George's County Council yesterday rejected a bill that would have required county executive Lawrence Hogan to choose a new police chief from the ranks of the county police department.

In so doing, the council accommodated Hogan's plea that he be allowed to appoint a chief from outside Prince George's County. Hogan has said that he believes there are few, if any, acceptable candidates in the department.

One source close to Hogan described the council's action as a response to Hogan's recent public apology to the council after the months of feuding about the police chief search and other issues.

Council member Sue V. Mills, the bill's sponsor, said yesterday she felt the votes originally existed to carry her measure. After its defeat, she issued a five-page statement criticizing Hogan's announced opposition. Hogan and his aides had lobbied council members intensely in recent weeks for the bill's defeat.

"For his own partisan political purposes," Mills charged, Hogan had "encouraged and contributed to the diversionary tactics of clouding the issue and posturing himself as the victim of a nefarious, partisan, political scheme. Members of the council, and Hogan, know this excuse is absurd."

However, several of the council members seemed to be softening their previous resistance to the selection of a chief from outside the county.

"What has happened here is that the controversy over this issue has become so extended that it has started to have an impact on morale and has upset the community," said councilman Parris Glendening. "We need to bury our sentiments on this and get the best person we can as soon as possible, even if it is not an insider."

In another development yesterday, Anaheim, Calif., Police Chief George Tielsch, one of those in whom Hogan had expressed interest for the Prince Goerge's job, turned down an offer to be interviewed for the job.