The 13 members of the D.C. Council want it known that they stand solidly against fraud, greed and corruption.

At their first legislative meeting since U.S. Attorney Joseph E. diGenova's May 22 disclosure of a major probe of D.C. contracting, the council members scrambled yesterday to choose sides in a fight to shape anticorruption legislation.

Council Chairman David A. Clarke and council member Carol Schwartz (R-At Large) proposed competing measures, and some council members covered their bases by endorsing both.

Schwartz's measure, entitled the "District of Columbia Anti-Corruption and Fraud Act of 1987," would grant subpoena power to the city auditor's office, which conducts internal D.C. government investigations. This approach, she said, would be cheaper and more effective than a plan by Clarke to create a separate agency.

"It's a far more independent approach," she said.

Schwartz, the council's lone Republican, is likely to face a tough time winning approval for the measure, which was assigned to the council's Committee of the Whole, chaired by Clarke. But by yesterday afternoon, three other members had agreed to cosponsor the bill.

On the same day that diGenova's investigation became public, Clarke revived a proposal he had introduced a year ago to create an investigative agency to root out corruption in city government. Seven council members added their names to Clarke's bill, which contains a provision to protect whistleblowers.

"Everybody's attention is tuned to the big guys, {asking} how far does it go?" Clarke said last week. "The other question is, how far down will it go?"

Clarke said he does not oppose Schwartz's measure. He added, however, that he does not believe that independent investigations of possible bribery cases should fall under the purview of the auditor's office. The city auditor is appointed by the council and reports to it.

Clarke and Schwartz are not alone in championing integrity in District government these days. Planning to file her own legislation on the matter within the next two weeks is council member Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4).

Her bill, she said, would give the auditor more power and would define the investigative powers of the executive branch further so its members "do not have the power, unimpeded, to investigate members of the council."

Jarvis has repeatedly criticized mayoral appointee Keith Vance, the director of the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance, who has conducted a continuing investigation of her campaign finances.

"Investigative officers should not be used politically," Jarvis said yesterday.

Integrity in government is not the only high-profile issue that has council members taking sides in the weeks before the council begins its summer recess July 15.

On the issue of homelessness, council members John Ray (D-At Large) and John A. Wilson (D-Ward 2) joined in proposing what appeared to be an alternative approach to a bill sponsored three weeks ago by council member H.R. Crawford (D-Ward 7).

The Crawford bill would reduce the District's responsibility for housing homeless families by setting a 180-day limit on a stay in the city's emergency hotel shelters.

The Ray and Wilson measure would require that these families be placed in apartments owned or built by the government instead of hotels.

Crawford said the two measures are similar except for the names of the sponsors attached to them.

Ray said he disagrees strongly with some elements of Crawford's bill, which some critics have charged is an attempt to weaken the city's law providing shelter to all who request it.

The argument may be moot. Crawford doesn't think much of Ray's bill, and it has been assigned to Crawford's committee. "Many areas of the legislation don't make sense," he said.

Ray responded, "I have some influence on the council and I will have some influence on the committee."