District of Columbia Mayor Marion Barry yesterday reassigned Julian R. Dugas, the former city administrator seen by critics as most representative of an air of arrogance and indifference in city hall.
The action removed Dugas from his powerful position as director of the Office of Licenses, Inspections and Investigations to which he had been named by Mayor Walter E. Washington before Barry took office.
Barry also removed James W. Baldwin as director of the city's Office of Human Rights. Both Dugas and Baldwin will retain their $47,500 annual salaries and civil service standing.
Barry reassigned Dugas to the city's personnel department, in a move that some Barry advisers consider an interim step in Barry's desire to move Dugas entirely out of city government. Yesterday's action did not remove Dugas from his other position as chairman of the ABC Board.
Baldwin is to be reassigned to unspecified duties on the mayor's general office staff.
Before Barry took office, Mayor Washington had appointed Dugas to direct the licensing office and as chairman of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board until 1981.
Barry has appointed Robert Lewis, 40, a former project coordinator for the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development and a Barry transition team worker, as Dugas's interim replacement.
One of Baldwin's subordinates is expected to replace him while Barry seeks permanent appointees for both the licenses and human rights directorships.
Baldwin was unavailable for comment yesterday, and Dugas declined comment.
It was unclear yesterday if Dugas, described earlier by Barry advisers as reluctant to leave the licenses post, would challenge his removal in court.
For serveral weeks, Barry has hoped that dugas would accept an offer to join the staff at Howard University. But so far Dugas has declined that offer, even though it would guarantee retention of his salary and civil service right.
Privately, Barry advisers have expressed concern about a court challenge from Dugas, who wants to remain in city government about two more years in order to gain maximum retirement benefits. Unlike some other city department heads, Barry advisers said, Dugas could not easily be dismissed easily on grounds of incompetence.
Still untouched is Dugas's chairmanship of the ABC Board where he and his close associate, James W. Hill, from a majority on the three member board.
Barry advisers said yesterday that Barry is willing to reorganize the board if necessary to oust Dugas as chairman.
In his new post, Dugas will continue to work on ABC Board cases and also perform legal duties in the personnel department.
Baldwin's enforcement of have city's antidiscrimination codes was considered by some critics to be ineffective, complacent and inefficient. His office was plagued by continual heavy back-loads.
Baldwin's removal makes official what Barry advisers have said privately for weeks -- that even though Barry never said publicly that Baldwin was to be removed, Barry did not want him to continue running the human rights office.
Barry's office had on at least one occasion tried to hint to Baldwin that be was not wanted as a department head by not inviting him to a meeting of other department directors for a discussion of administration policy.
City personnel director George R. Harrod said Barry had been "totally compassionate" in dealing with Baldwin's situation. Within a year, Baldwin will have completed 30 years in government and be 55 years old, the minimum requirements for one form of voluntary retirements with full benefits.
Dugas could retire now but earns additional retirement benefits by continuing to work in city governments. CAPTION: Picture, JULIAN R. DUGAS... retains $47,500 salary