Two District of Columbia Council members told Police Chief Maurice J. Cullinane yesterday that his recent public criticism of the Superior Court's handling of prostitution cases had hurt the city's image.
Council members David A. Clarke (D-one) and Marion Barry (D-at large) told Culliane that if he felt the courts were too legient he should have gone privately to Chief Judge Harold H. Greene with those complaints rather than expressing them in the news media.
On Wednesday, Greene, told the Council's judiciary committee that Cullinane had never discussed with him any dissatisfaction with the court's handling of prositution cases. Greene also said he believed that the police department should not be "imposing pressure" on the courts.
Yesterday Cullinance told the committee that Greene "knows my views" and that be had met with Greene "some time ago." Cullinane could not say precisely when.
Clarke, the chairman of the judiciary committee told Cullinane, "The lack of consultation is not justified in the matter. I am concerned that the courts, as an independent branch of government, may be reacting negatively to the public pressure that has been created."
Barry said that on a recent trip, he bought a Miami newspaper that he said characterized the District as "the land of prostitution. I think that hurts the image of the city," he said.
Cullinane said that many of the prostitutes in the city now are from other states and that they have come to the District because they have heard that judges here give lighter sentences.
"If they can't make a profit here, they will go away and I feel we can handle the ones that live here," Cullinane said.
"I don't agree with you that the court is hallowed ground, Cullinane said, "I am telling you that the court is just like the police department and that the public has a right to know what the courts are doing," he said. "I am going to continue to speak out whenever I feel that the safety of citizens is in danger," he said.