Edward J. Birrane Jr., Maryland's insurance commissioner for the last 11 years, said yesterday he will resign to take a job in private industry.

Birrane was the subject of a recently concluded, nine-month investigation by the state attorney general's office involving his operation of the state insurance commission, which regulates companies selling insurance in Maryland.

Birrane said the report criticizes him for procedures used in auditing several companies, but he said he is not resigning because of the report, which was turned over to Gov. Harry Hughes June 4 and is scheduled to be made public in a few days.

The commissioner said he was offered a job last September as general counsel to a corporation that owns seven companies, but postponed taking the job until the report was finished. He said he would not identify the firm before it announces his hiring.

Birrane has come under a barrage of criticism during the last several years from state officials and others accusing him of mismanaging his office, and he said "all the flak I've been taking" also contributed to his decision.

He said he plans to leave the office in a few days, but his resignation won't become effective until Labor Day, when he has exhausted his annual leave.