Maylor Walter E. Washington will accept the recommendation of a police retirement board that Police Chief Maurice J. Cullinane be permitted to retire on a $31,683 medical disability pension, a spokesman for the mayor said yesterday.

Cullinane, citing inability to continue at his duties, asked yesterday to be formally replaced before his scheduled Feb. 1 departure date. The mayor's spokesman said the request would be honored.

Assistant Police Chief Burtell M. Jefferson has been designated as Cullinane's successor, and a knowledge source in the District Building speculated that Jefferson could be formally installed next week.

Culliance appeared Thursday before the retirement board, which concluded that he is entitled to the disability pension because of a "life-threatening" circulatory condition stemming from a knee injury.

Police surgeons who appeared on Cullinane's behalf said he has 'thrombo-phlebitis," a condition of blood vessels around his left knee, which was hit by a brick during antiwar demonstrations in 1970.

In a memo released last night, Cullinane said that "in all fairness to the department, the city government and our community, since it is not possible for me to continue to perform the duties of my office it is recommended that Acting Chief of Police Burtell M. Jefferson be appointed and assume the responsibilities at the earliest possible convenient time."