A former official at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point has admitted to steering contracts to preferred companies in exchange for bribes.

John McCormick pleaded guilty Friday at Central Islip federal court to receiving a bribe as a public official.

“The receipt of bribes on government contracts threatens the quality of the work being performed and the integrity of the contracting process,” said Robert Capers, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Prosecutors said the 60-year-old Atlantic Beach man was a planner and estimator for the Department of Public Works at the academy when he submitted fake bids on maintenance and repair contracts he supervised to steer the contracts to companies that paid him bribes in October 2014.

He was arrested shortly after investigators recorded him accepting a bribe, authorities said. Two other academy employees and several contractors were also arrested in the investigation, which is continuing.

Judge Arthur Spatt ordered McCormick to forfeit $60,000 in bribes he received. McCormick is scheduled to be sentenced May 19. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

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