Calls to Investigate No-Bid Contracts After Embarrassing Plagiarism Scandal in Santa Clara

The Santa Clara County Executive’s Office has launched an investigation after revelations that a government employee plagiarized multiple sources for a county-commissioned book about the history of Santa Clara.

The employee, Jean McCorquodale, is the wife of former county supervisor and former state senator Dan McCorquodale. She was awarded a no-bid contract to write the book. She reportedly turned it in two years late and was paid around $1 million.

When The Mercury News took a look at the manuscript she had turned in last January, it found numerous passages had been lifted verbatim from its own publication, as well as the History Channel, SF Gate, the Washington Post, and Wikipedia. CEO Jeff Smith told the Mercury News that he was “shocked” and “very concerned” by the publication’s discovery.

McCorquodale says the plagiarized passages were “placeholders” and were not intended to be included in the final product.

In addition to the investigation by Santa Clara’s CEO, District 3 Supervisor Otto Lee is calling for a larger probe of McCorquodale’s work with the county. Since 2009, she has earned $2.45 million – also as a result of lucrative no-bid contracts for grant writing, according to the Mercury News.


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