A former Army Corps of Engineers contracting official has pleaded guilty to a federal charge that he took $320,000 in bribes from a contractor in exchange for help on a U.S. road contract in Afghanistan, the Dept. of Justice says.
DOJ said that Mark E. Miller, who worked for the Corps in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2012, pleaded guilty on July 25 before a federal magistrate judge in Springfield, Ill., to a count of soliciting and receiving bribes.
In Afghanistan, Miller was the site manager and a contracting officer representative who oversaw multiple construction contracts there.
The case centered on what was initially a $2.9-million contract awarded in December 2009 to an Afghan company to build a road from eastern Afghanistan to the border with Pakistan.
The contract's value later rose to $8.1 million. Miller was responsible for confirming that the contractor carried out the job as specified and also authorized Corps progress payments, Justice said.
According to DOJ, Miller admitted that he sought about $280,000 in bribes from the Afghan company's owner in return for helping the firm on the project, including ensuring that the contract wasn't terminated.
Miller also said that, after the contract became inactive, he asked for another $40,000 in bribes "in return for the possibility of future contract work and other benefits," according to DOJ.
Miller, 48, a Springfield, Ill., resident, was a member of the Corps from 2005 until 2015.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 30 in U.S District Court in Springfield by Judge Richard H. Mills.