D.C. Mayor-Elect Sharon Pratt Dixon said yesterday that all of her top administrators will live in the District while they work for her.

"That's a given," she said. "Clearly, they absolutely have got to live in the city."

Dixon was responding to news reports yesterday that Joseph R. Caldwell Jr., a Washington lawyer who will serve as her chief of staff, lives in suburban Virginia.

"He is moving into the city," she said of Caldwell, who owns a house in Falls Church. "He has been very actively involved in the city."

Caldwell, 41, is a partner at Miller Cassidy Larroca & Lewin, a small law firm that specializes in white-collar criminal cases and has represented many prominent political figures.

He and his wife, Michele Ellison, a partner at the law firm of Williams & Connolly, are house-hunting in the District and hope to move by Feb. 1, Dixon spokesman Paul Costello said.

Caldwell lived in the District for eight years before he and Ellison married three years ago, Costello said. At that point, Caldwell moved into his wife's home in Arlington. They later moved to a house in Falls Church.

Dixon spent the last two days meeting with budget analysts who briefed her on the District's fiscal problems.

Today, she is scheduled to be in Chicago, where she will address the annual meeting of the Sidley & Austin law firm. Dixon has been of counsel to the Washington office of the firm for the last year.