Union officials representing Department of Corrections employes called yesterday for the resignation of the new D.C. Jail chaplain, former City Council member Jerry A. Moore Jr., charging that his appointment to the post was "a political payoff."

Rene DuBose, national representative for the American Federation of Government Employees, said that Moore's appointment to the union-covered, $30,888-a-year post was "preselected" in violation of the union's contract with the city. She said Local 1550 of the union will file a grievance with the department today on behalf of six correction officers who also applied for the job.

DuBose said the former jail chaplain, June Lee Jefferson, told her that Moore informed him of his appointment a week before a selection panel met and made the decision to hire the former City Council member.

Moore could not be reached for comment last night.

"I've been advised not to comment on that his alleged conversation with Moore at the present," Jefferson said, "because I'm filing a lawsuit" (over his forced retirement).

Jefferson, a 20-year veteran of the post, retired Jan. 31 when he reached the department's mandatory retirement age of 60. Moore, who last year lost the council seat he had held for 15 years, is 66.

Corrections Department spokesman Leroy Anderson declined to comment on Moore's selection.

"We have a contract with AFGE and that contract spells out the grievance procedure, and that procedure does not call for the intervention of the news media," he said. "So we have no comment."

DuBose said that eight persons, including Moore and a number of other chaplains from Lorton Reformatory, the District's prison in Fairfax County, applied for the job as chaplain of the D.C. Jail.

After an initial screening by the city personnel office, the pool of applicants was reduced to Moore and Isaiah Webb, a corrections department captain who is also a minister. Moore's selection was announced Jan. 31.

DuBose said that Moore's alleged conversation with Jefferson a week before the selection panel met proved that Moore was "preselected" for the post.

"We think it's criminal because these people the other applicants look to move up in their profession," DuBose said. "This is a political payoff, and we're sick of it. I'm appalled that the city thinks they can get away with it."