Richard Olney

In 1893 Richard Olney was appointed to be Attorney General by President Grover Cleveland. Prior to 1893, Olney had worked as a director or legal counsel to several railroads, including some of those that were part of the General Managers' Association (GMA). The GMA represented numerous large railroads and the Pullman company. While Olney earned an annual salary of $8,000 as Attorney General, he was still being paid more than $10,000 as a legal advisor to the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy railroads. This created a clear conflict of interest when the Pullman strike began. Before he accepted the position of Attorney General, Olney asked for and was given assurances that he could continue as legal advisor to these railroads. The close working relationship between Olney, government personnel who reported to him, federal judges and the GMA would be severely criticized both during and after the Pullman strike. LC-DIG-ggbain-05196, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.