Joseph P. Yeldell, the controversial former D.C. human services director, has been chosen by Mayor Marion Barry to head the Office of Emergency Preparedness, which includes the mayor's command center.

City Administrator Elijah B. Rogers yesterday confirmed the appointment of Yeldell, a $56,300-a-year career civil servant who for the past three years has been a special assistant to Rogers, advising the city on the purchase and leasing of computer equipment.

Yeldell, who will remain at the same top-level salary, will replace Richard G. Bottorff, the acting director of the emergency preparedness office, as part of a major reorganization and shakeup ordered by Barry.

The Office of Emergency Preparedness maintains an around-the-clock command post and communications center for the mayor and his top aides. The office also is responsible for preparing plans in the event of emergencies or natural disasters.

Yeldell, who was considered by many to have the sharpest political mind in former Mayor Walter E. Washington's administration, was acquitted in September 1979 of bribery and conspiracy charges.

Indictments handed up in April 1978 charged that multimillionaire Washington businessman Dominic F. Antonelli had given Yeldell a secret $33,000 loan while simultaneously negotiating a lease with the Department of Human Resources, which Yeldell then headed.

Both Yeldell and Antonelli were convicted of the charges in a trial in Washington, but the original guilty verdict was overturned on appeal and the second trial ordered. Both men were acquitted in the second trial.

Barry, who by then had replaced Washington as mayor, restored Yeldell to the city payroll.