Tech firm fires CEO convicted of domestic violence

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 28, 2014 at 2:29 pm •  Published: April 28, 2014
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A wealthy Internet entrepreneur recently convicted of domestic violence has been terminated as CEO of a San Francisco startup online advertising company.

RadiumOne said in a statement that its board of directors decided Saturday night to fire CEO and Chairman Gurbaksh Chahal.

Chahal, 31, pleaded guilty earlier this month to battery and domestic violence battery, both misdemeanors, in the August 2013 beating of his girlfriend.

On Friday, the Democratic National Committee said it returned Chahal's $20,000 donation in the wake of his conviction. RadiumOne made no mention of Chahal's conviction when announcing his ouster late Saturday.

But Chahal said in a blog post Monday that he was fired when he told board members he wouldn't resign.

"In that special board meeting, they asked for my resignation as Chairman & CEO, when I declined to do (it), they fired me. Even though, I only accepted this misdemeanor plea under their guidance," Chahal wrote. "Is this what venture capitalism is about?"

A RadiumOne spokeswoman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Chahal also blamed social media for becoming the "court of public opinion" in his case.

The San Francisco district attorney's office charged Chahal with 45 felonies for allegedly punching and kicking his girlfriend more than 100 times and attempting to smother her with a pillow in his penthouse after he learned she had cheated on him with a man during a trip to Las Vegas, according to court documents.

The alleged attack was caught on home-surveillance footage, authorities said. Chahal initially pleaded not guilty to all charges and posted $1 million bail. He also hired former federal prosecutor Jim Lassart, who said prosecutors were blowing out of proportion an argument between Chahal and his girlfriend.