The indictment of Joseph Philip Yeldell comes at a time when it appeared that he had weathered a political storm that blew him out of the Department of Human Resources and had landed in an equally powerful job as special assistant and confident to [TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE]
From his suite of offices on the third floor of the National Theater across Pennsylvania Avenue from the District Building, Yeldell's status was seen to rise every time the mayor gave an indication that he would seek reelection this coming November.
Yeldell has been expeced to have a major role in that campaign and has already been handling community relations chores for the major designed to boost his political stock.
Sam Eastman, the mayor's spokesman, said yesterday that Yeldell's indictment "should be isolated from the main sweep of his career."
Yeldell, who is 45, plunged into in local politics in 1967: He was working as a representative for IBM here when President Lyndon B. Johnson named him to the first appointed D.C. City Council.
Yeldell served two terms on the council - the second the result of reappointment by President Nixon and impressed many of his colleagues with his serious approach to city business.
City council member Polly Shackleton, who later became Yeldell's nemesis as the council's overseer of DHR when Yeldell ran that agency, said, "I once considered him highly able and articulate. But later, his approach began to bother me."
In 1971, Yeldell ran for D.C. nonvoting delegate to Congress. With the financial backing of some of the city's most prominent businessmen, Yeldell ran a conservative campaign, coming in second to the Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy, who still holds that position.
After Yeldell's election defeat, Mayor Walter E. Washington appointed him director of DHR, a consolidation of previously separate health, welfare, social service and environmental agencies. Yeldell's administration of this unwieldly new bureaucracy later caused considerable controversy, culminating in the political storm over the number of Yeldell relatives and cronies on the city government payroll and Yeldell's relationship with millionaire developer Dominic Anttonell.
Under pressure, Mayor Washington removed Yeldell from the DHR post in April 1977, but later made him a special assistant to the mayor with new offices and a $47,500 salary.
Yeldell was born in Washington in 1932, the ninth of 13 children, and lived in poor neighborhoods in both Northeast and Northwest. He attended Brown Junior High and Cardozo High , where he was an officer in the cadet corps and a championship high school debater.
When he graduated from D.C. Teachers College, where he met his wife, Gladys, Yeldell went into the Air Force, and worked for a while as an air controller at Bolling Air Force Base. Yeldell completed graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh, and returned to Washington where he lived in a modest, $17,000 home in Anacostia while working for IBM.
Shortly after becoming director of DHR, Yeldell moved to the North Portal Estates in what is known as "The Platinum Coast" in upper Northwest Washington.
Yeldell has two daughters, one of whom attends a Holy Name Academy a private high school in Washington. The other attends the University of Virginia.