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Prominent Ghost Ship prosecutor resigns weeks before case goes to trial

OAKLAND — One of the lead Ghost Ship fire prosecutors, David Lim, is leaving the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, just as the trial is set to start.
Deputy District Attorney David Lim turned in his resignation this week and is leaving April 5 to start his own practice focused primarily on real estate law. His sudden departure could mean another delay in the high-profile Ghost Ship case; jury selection is set to begin April 2.
Lim began investigating the deadly Dec. 2, 2016 fire from the outset, and along with Deputy District Attorney Autrey James built a case against master tenant Derick Almena and Max Harris. Each man is facing 36 counts of involuntary manslaughter for the 36 people who died in the blaze.
“An opportunity recently came up, and I can’t work two jobs, especially as important as a deputy district attorney,” Lim said Wednesday.
During his tenure as an Alameda County prosecutor, which began in 1999, Lim became known as a deligient and thorough investigator of white-collar crimes. He was involved in a wide-ranging fraud investigation of the former Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland around the time its leader, Yusuf Bey IV, ordered the assassination of journalist Chauncey Bailey in 2007.
While that case was overshadowed by ones involving violent crimes Bey committed, Lim showed the bakery ran a wide-ranging series of crimes involving real estate fraud and identity theft. He later helped lead a successful investigation of a security guard business run by a bakery offshoot that fraudulently obtained government contracts.
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Lim plans to open his practice in San Mateo, where he lives with his family.  Until 2017, Lim was also on the San Mateo City Council, and served as mayor. He did not seek re-election in 2017, in what would have been his third term. In 2016, he unsuccessfully ran for an Alameda County judge seat. Besides running his own practice, he plans to help his father, who owns a real state firm in Southern California.
Check back for updates. 

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