Mayor Marion Barry yesterday blamed key members of his staff for incomplete and missing records that could detail the expenditure of thousands of dollars spent from the mayor's ceremonial fund, saying that the secretary of the District, not the mayor, is responsible for the accounts.

"I don't think the public elected me to go out and keep hotel receipts," Barry said at a news conference held at Del. Walter E. Fauntroy's (D-D.C.) annual Labor Day picnic at the Takoma Recreation Center softball diamond to announce the AFL-CIO executive council's endorsement of statehood for the District.

Documents obtained Friday by The Washington Post reveal that records of more than $41,000 in ceremonial funds spent from 1984 through 1986 are missing or incomplete, leaving unexplained the expenditure of thousands of dollars for hotels, caterers, flowers, luxuries and cash outlays.

In addition, there are no records on ceremonial fund expenditures for the 21-month period of October 1982 through June 1984, according to a D.C. Superior Court affidavit sworn by George Thomas, comptroller for the mayor.

As part of a widening probe of the District government, a federal grand jury is scrutinizing the ceremonial fund records to determine whether the funds were used improperly to cover personal expenses of Barry or his wife Effi, sources have said. The Post filed suit in July 1986 in D.C. Superior Court to obtain the records, which were released Friday after city officials lost an extended legal battle to keep the records secret.

At least six current or former city officials have been summoned by the grand jury to testify about expenditures from the accounts, including Clifton B. Smith, former secretary of the District, and Robert L. Green, former president of the University of the District of Columbia.

Dwight S. Cropp, acting secretary of the District, who controlled the funds during part of the period under grand jury investigation, has testified before the panel twice, sources said.

The $17,500 annual ceremonial fund, made up of two discretionary accounts, was intended to cover miscellaneous expenses associated with the mayor's and the City Council's conduct of office. City officials have said expeditures on entertainment and gifts are legitimate if related to official business.

"This fund since 1938 has come under the office of the secretary, not the office of the mayor," Barry said, clearly annoyed with reporters' questions on the fund. "Seventeen thousand five hundred dollars is a lot of money to a lot of people, but the office of the secretary keeps that for the District government."

The office of the secretary serves as administrative and logistical staff to the mayor and coordinates all the ceremonial functions of the mayor. The secretary is appointed by the mayor and reports directly to Barry, who has appointed several secretaries since he took office in 1979.

"Don't talk to me at all. Go find Dwight Cropp or {Press Secretary} John White. Don't bug me," Barry snapped, reaching for a bat to join a softball game between "Barry's Army" and "Fauntroy's Family."

Separate accounts of the mayor's travel and entertainment records, released a year ago after the newspaper filed a suit under the Freedom of Information Act, also showed a lack of documentation for expenditures totaling about $57,000 during a four-year period.

A few days before those records were released, Barry reimbursed the city for $4,791 for three personal trips and other expenses lacking documentation, and later repaid the city for additional expenses related to political activities.

At the time, the mayor and his aides blamed the shoddy record keeping on Robert Robinson, the administrative officer of the office of the mayor, and reassigned him. Barry recently has contended that it is Robinson -- not the mayor -- who is under investigation by the U.S. attorney's office in connection with the accounts. Robinson, who resigned from city government earlier this summer, has declined to comment on the expenditures.

Yesterday's combination news conference and softball game, with the theme "AFL-CIO goes to bat for statehood," was held to publicize the AFL-CIO's national executive council's Aug. 17 endorsement of statehood for the District.

During the brief news conference, Joslyn Williams, president of the Greater Washington Metropolitan Area AFL-CIO, addressed Barry as "Governor" and Fauntroy as "Senator."

The D.C. statehood bill -- H.R. 51 -- is expected to come before Congress for debate this fall. Some contend that statehood for the District would require amendment of the Constitution, ratified by two-thirds of the states before the District could become the 51st state.

In response to a reporter's question, Barry said he did not think that almost daily national publicity surrounding federal grand jury investigations into District government officials and the city's contracting practices would erode support across the country for D.C. statehood.

"Hit one for statehood," said Barry, manning first base. "Let me catch it."

The AFL-CIO also endorsed statehood last year, and its members nationwide are considered an important grass-roots educational tool if statehood requires a constitutional amendment. The labor union's endorsement "brings 13.1 million Americans into the effort to push the statehood bill and the need to educate the public," said Sumner Harrison of the D.C. Statehood Coalition.

Fauntroy's Family beat Barry's Army 12-11.