Loretta Cornelius, acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, yesterday asked for the resignation of seven OPM employes who were closely associated with former director Donald J. Devine.

Devine withdrew as a candidate for renomination as director last week after it became clear that the Senate would not approve a second term for him.

Cornelius testified under oath before the Senate that she was unaware that Devine, a former political science professor at the University of Maryland, had delegated authority to himself to continue running the personnel agency after his first term of office expired.

Cornelius yesterday requested the resignation of George Nesterczuk, Devine's principal assistant, two of Devine's personal secretaries, and Devine's personal regional representatives in four of five regional offices.

The personal representatives had acted as a direct pipeline to Devine over and above the regular regional directors. Those asked to resign, according to OPM sources, include the personal representatives in the Philadelphia/Atlanta region, the Chicago/St. Louis region, the Denver/Dallas region and the San Francisco/Seattle region. An OPM official said it was decided that the employes -- who are political appointees -- are no longer needed because they worked directly for Divine.