The Democratic rulers of California’s Santa Clara County have wasted more than $1 million of their taxpayers’ money to commission a local history book.
This was to be commissioned to the wife of a late Democratic legislator, only for the rulers to see themselves forced to cancel it after finding that it had been plagiarized.
Belated, Plagiarized, and Lavishly Paid For
The local history book got canceled after months of “intense scrutiny” into the project, but not before it had cost a hefty amount of money to the Santa Clara County taxpayers.
It remains unclear if any of that will be recovered, Mercury News reported.
One intriguing detail in the case, though, is the “author” of the plagiarized book is Jean McCorquodale. She happens to be the widow of the late Dan McCorquodale, a long-time Democratic member of the California state Senate.
According to the report, the work that Jean McCorquodale had been commissioned to do was a manuscript containing lots of plagiarized material from Wikipedia and other sources.
The entire costly book writing project is described as a “bizarre controversy” that led to “serious questions” when it comes to political influence over the public procurement contracts in the Democrat-run Santa Clara County.
Jean McCorquodale received a hefty local government contract for a local history book without any competition in 2018. The so-called “book,” a 580-page manuscript, was completed and submitted to the county executive’s office only in January 2022 after a two-year delay.
However, it was too early to celebrate the work of a Democratic politician’s widow lavishly paid for by other Democratic politicians with taxpayer money.
In June, Santa Clara County had to put the history book project on hold after Mercury News revealed one-fifth of the book was plagiarized, containing full paragraphs “copy-pasted” from other publications.
County Supervisor Otto Lee urged an investigation into how much municipal money had been spent on the project.
Subsequently, there were email leaks showing that county officials deliberately went around bidding rules in order to make sure the project would go to Jean McCorquodale, who isn’t even a professional historian.
Oof. Santa Clara County spent over $1 million for a book on the county's history, but what it got was highly plagiarized—including paragraphs copied nearly verbatim from Wikipedia. And the no-bid contract was awarded to a non-author who used to help the county get its own grants. https://t.co/EYiiDKnbOA
— Devlin Hartline (@devlinhartline) March 8, 2023
A scandal-riddled Santa Clara County government history book that cost taxpayers over $1 million was just canceled.https://t.co/mpMaUBRvDb
— Gabriel Lorenzo Greschler (@ggreschler) March 7, 2023
Democratic Politicians’ Widow Has Raked in Millions
Nine months later, Santa Clara County has ended up spending “a lot of money” for “no product,” emphasized Charlene Duval, a historical consultant with almost 50 years of experience in the field of California history.
Duval said canceling the book altogether was nonetheless the right decision and declared she hoped the Santa Clara government would be able to recover at least part of the money.
County Counsel James Williams has been contacting Jean McCorquodale about the matter. Williams previously said legal options in the ridiculous case ranged from “no consequences” whatsoever for the plagiarist to a contract dispute.
The $1 million that McCorquodale seems to have siphoned off from the taxpayers of Santa Clara, though, pales in comparison to all the cash she received from the county over the years.
Thus, Jean McCorquodale has received almost $2.5 million through grant-writing contracts from the county since 2009. McCorquodale began raking in county money in 1995 through her firm, McCorquodale Corp.
In 2009, she became the chief grant writer of Santa Clara, receiving $740,000 during a five-year period. In 2014, she got a new contract that led her to earn $220,000 a year – although she never had any experience in book publishing.
Come on, publish it with a forward from POTUS Biden. Joe knows a thing or two about plagiarism.@LarsLarsonShow @ORhunter@EmilyTVproducer @tobeequal@RoxanneHoge @denniskneale@JeffRoseTVhttps://t.co/5lr4nQ7L4H
— Michael Patrick O'Connor (@TsarMeesha) March 7, 2023
Plagiarized $1M Santa Clara County history book is canceled (https://t.co/NVNTiDN3SS)
After nine months of intense scrutiny surrounding a Santa Clara County-commissioned governme…
Add your highlights:https://t.co/L3oJbHuepV
— Books Briefly (@BookLife_b) March 7, 2023
This article appeared in The State Today and has been published here with permission.
Santa Clara County has cancelled a plagiarism-filled book project and says that it spent over $1 million on the now-cancelled book.https://t.co/HS1GFk89jg
— Jonathan Bailey (@plagiarismtoday) March 8, 2023