The Federal Bureau of Investigation, long accused of discriminating against blacks and other minorities, has announced the appointment of black agents as chief investigator for a highly publicized bias case involving one of its employees and as chief spokesman.

On Tuesday, FBI Director William S. Sessions named San Juan office chief Paul R. Philip to lead its investigation of discrimination charges made by Donald Rochon, a black agent whose case has received widespread attention. Thomas F. Jones, a 21-year FBI veteran, was named as the bureau's chief spokesman.

Rochon, who is on disability leave, has charged that white co-workers repeatedly harassed him, including making threats to kill him and rape his wife, while he worked in the bureau's Chicago office. Under an out-of-court settlement reached two weeks ago, the bureau agreed to give him full pay and pension benefits, as well as back pay to compensate for a promotion Rochon claims he was denied, and $150,000 to compensate for his wife's emotional distress. The payment could total $1 million over Rochon's lifetime.

The bureau also agreed to conduct the investigation as part of the settlement.

The appointment of Philip, who has been with the bureau for 17 years and is its top-ranking black field agent, was welcomed by Rochon's attorney, David Kairys, and by legislators who have monitored discrimination in the bureau.

"I'm glad it was done quickly," Kairys said. "His task will be difficult because the bureau has more hostility than most institutions toward people who complain about anything. When you complain about race, the hostility goes off the chart."

The FBI said it has no comment about the case.

Jones, who begins his duties next month, will be the first black chief spokesman in the bureau's history. He is now deputy assistant director in the criminal division, where he oversees investigations involving white-collar crime and civil rights.

"Tom's appointment was based on his lengthy and varied background as a special agent and his experience with the media as the head of an FBI field office and as spokesman for a priority investigative program," said Mike P. Kortan, a bureau spokesman. "It is an added benefit for the FBI to have such a qualified individual who is a minority."

Kortan said the Jones and Philip appointments were unrelated, even though they were announced the same day.

But Rep. Don Edwards (D-Calif.), who heads the House Judiciary subcommittee on civil and constitutional rights, saw it differently. "Of course they're related," he said. "But I don't think they're window dressing. I think {Sessions} is determined to correct the abuses of the past."

Rochon's case is one of several discrimination suits filed against the bureau over the past few years. Two years ago, a group of Hispanic agents filed a class action suit against the bureau, charging that it systematically discriminated against them. A federal judge in Texas ruled in their favor, but at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing earlier this year, one of the agents, Gilberto Mireles, testified that he and others had faced increased discrimination because of their involvement in the suit.

Late last year, the bureau reached another out-of-court settlement in the case of Leadell Lee, a black agent in its Chicago office, who claimed he was harassed and denied promotions because of his race.

Of the bureau's 9,500 special agents, 4.6 percent are black and 5.2 percent are Hispanic.