The writer behind a canceled Santa Clara County-commissioned government history book plagiarized from sources like Wikipedia will keep the $1 million she earned from the project.

Jean McCorquodale, wife of longtime South Bay politician Dan McCorquodale, was awarded a no-bid contract in 2018 to complete what ultimately became a 580-page manuscript turned in two years late to the county executive’s office — the department overseeing the project.

A grant writer for the county for decades, Jean McCorquodale was selected as the project’s author because of her purported unique and unparalleled knowledge of the county’s history and leadership. In June, after the manuscript was found by this news organization to have contained roughly a fifth of its material copied nearly word-for-word from sources like Wikipedia, The Mercury News and other websites, the county launched a probe into the project at the behest of Supervisor Otto Lee. Emails later revealed that top county officials circumvented bidding rules to ensure McCorquodale received the book project contract — despite separate efforts to hire a professional historian. Last week, County Executive Jeff Smith confirmed the project had been scrapped.

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County Counsel James Williams confirmed on Monday that the county will not be getting the over $1 million in contracts back. Williams had previously stated that one option was to file a contract dispute — but said that any such pursuit could hypothetically cost the county more money than what McCorquodale received for the project.

“Everyone’s just moving on given where it’s at,” said Williams, calling the move to not file a contract dispute the most “prudent” decision.

“We looked at the range of possible options and determined what would make the best …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


Author of plagiarized Santa Clara County book to keep $1M in taxpayer money

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