A former publisher who has served on the state's education policy board pleaded guilty Friday to possessing child pornography on his company computer, prosecutors said.

Robert Johnson, 60, acknowledged in a federal courthouse in Manhattan that he downloaded at least two Internet child porn movies to computers he used while working as chief executive of Bowne & Co. Inc., an international printing firm with headquarters in New York.

Johnson, a former publisher at Newsday, also pleaded guilty to destroying files from his computers after he learned that federal agents had contacted the company.

The charges carry prison terms of up to 20 years, although he is likely to face far less time under federal guidelines when he is sentenced in October.

Johnson's attorney did not return a phone call Friday.

Johnson abruptly retired from Bowne & Co. after learning of the investigation in the spring of 2004, but not before using a program called "Evidence Eliminator" to try to erase up to 12,000 files from his hard drives, authorities said.

He also stepped down from New York's Board of Regents, which helps oversee public education in the state. Johnson was Newsday's publisher from 1986 to 1994.