An executive assistant to Salt Lake Mayor Palmer DePaulis is taking a 90-day leave of absence to become Utah state campaign coordinator for Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis.

Pete Suazo left the mayor's office this week to establish a campaign headquarters in Salt Lake City and begin building a "grass-roots organization" of Dukakis activists across the state.Suazo's first order of business is to find a campaign office and begin recruiting county, legislative district and voting district campaign coordinators.

"I think Dukakis will put together a new direction for the country," Suazo said, praising the Massachusetts governor for his stand on the federal, deficit, affirmative action and aid to the Nicaraguan Contras.

Suazo, who said he has no aspirations to follow Dukakis to Washington if he wins the election, will return to city hall on Nov. 18.