D.C. Mayro Marion Barry has nominated Patricia Morris Worthy, a deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, to fill a vacancy on the three-member D.C. Public Service Commission.

The commission regulates the city's public utility companies and the taxicab industry.

If confirmed by the D.C. City Council, Worthy will replace Elizabeth Hayes Patterson, current heat of the commission whose two-year term expires June 30. Another PSC member, Ruth Hankins-Nesbitt will serve as commission chairman until the members elect a new permanent head after June 30.

If Worthy moves to the full-time PSC job, her current HUD salary of $47,889 to $50,112 range paid to PSC members.

The Public Service Commission is one of the city's most influential regulatory agencies. It directly affects the lives -- and pocketbooks -- of District residents by setting pay rates for electricity gas, telephone and taxi rides.

An attorney and resident of Far Northeast Washington, Worthy has been a deputy assistant secretary at HUD for three years, responsible for the regulation of mobile home construction, interstate land sales, energy conservation in residential and commericial buildings, lead-base paint poisoning prevention and other housing industry matters.

In an interview after her nomination Wednesday, Worthy said her regulatory experience at HUD will cause her to balance the interests of utility companies and city consumers if she is appointed to the Public Service Commission.

"I think you have to have an open mind and get as much information as you can before you make a decision," she said.

A Georgia native and a graduate of Brooklyn College, Worthy received her law degree from Howard University. She has been chairman of the D.C. Occupational Safety and Health Board and has been a board member of the Anacostia Economic Development Corporation and the National Black Child Development Institute.