J. Steven Griles, former deputy secretary of the Interior Department, pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to one count of obstructing Senate proceedings in connection with his relationship with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

At an arraignment before Judge Ellen Huvelle in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Griles admitted to obscuring the extent of his relationship with Abramoff during investigations by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in 2005. Griles served as the No. 2 official at Interior from July 2001 to January 2005.