Mr. James E. Kucharek
Class of 1969
Career Pathway: Human Services
James E. Kucharek was nominated by Mike Kucharek.
Jim graduated from Grayling High School in 1969. While attending GHS, he earned two varsity letters in track and one in basketball and participated in drama, forensics and Varsity Club his junior and senior years.
He graduated from Kirtland Community College in 1976 with an associate of arts degree in police administration. He then enrolled in the Washtenaw County Police Academy in Ann Arbor, where he graduated from the basic program in 1976 and the advanced program in 1977 – earning top honors at both academies. He also graduated summa sum laude – with a 3.8 GPA – from Saginaw Valley State University in 1980 with a B.A. degree in police administration.
Mr. Kucharek then attended Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, where his law school career was exemplary: He won three American jurisprudence awards; he was named to the national dean’s list and was a merit scholarship recipient in 1985, ‘86 and ’87; he received an invitation to the Law Review and one to the Moot Court Honors Program in 1986; he won a Corpus Juris Secundum award for legal scholarship and a Yanase merit scholarship in 1987. He graduated in May of 1988 with a Juris Doctor degree, ranking 6th out of the 49 students in his class.
Mr. Kucharek served in the United States Air Force from July 1971 to April 1975, where he performed general law enforcement duties in a position that required a secret clearance.
He was a deputy sheriff with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department from April 1975 to April 1978. Upon his promotion to detective in 1977, he was the youngest detective in the history of the department. He then worked as a deputy sheriff in the major crimes unit for the Bay County Sheriff’s Department until January 1981.
From 1981 to 1988, he worked for the Santa Monica Police Department, where he responded to crime scenes, collected forensic evidence and testified as an expert witness. During part of that time, he was a member of the CAL-ID Technical Subcommittee which advised the Los Angeles County Police Board on the implementation of a statewide automated fingerprint system. He also authored an article on a new chemical fingerprinting process that appeared in POLICE Magazine. He served as the union president for the 400-member Affiliation of State, County & Municipal Employees for the City of Santa Monica from May 1985 to May 1987.
In 1988-1989, he worked for Shield & Smith, an insurance defense law firm, where he specialized in employment law. In January 1989, he began work as a deputy district attorney for the Humboldt County District Attorney’s criminal division. During his five years in this position, he headed the major narcotics prosecution unit for two years.
He was an associate faculty member for the College of the Redwoods in Eureka for 13 years, starting in 1990. He authored California textbook supplements for family law. He also served as the chair of the legal assistance advisory committee from 2000 to 2003.
From 1994 to the present, Mr. Kucharek has been the director of child support services for Humboldt County. He chairs California’s Working with Tribal Governments work group and its child support services legislative committee. He also makes numerous outreach presentations concerning child welfare to public and private groups.
Mr. Kucharek’s mother, Bonnie Boger Kucharek, graduated from Grayling High School, as did his siblings, Julie, Dave and Steve.