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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The former chief executive of a San Francisco technology firm who was fired after pleading guilty to domestic abuse has threatened to sue the company’s board for the termination.
Gurbaksh Chahal was fired as CEO of Internet advertising firm RadiumOne in April following the social media backlash from the news of his plea deal to avoid prison for the attack on his then-girlfriend. He had remained on the board of directors but resigned on Tuesday.
In an open letter to the RadiumOne board of directors Chahal said he was wrongfully terminated and said board members would face “severe legal consequences individually” for their actions.
Chahal also claimed in the letter that the board was withholding a stock option grant and “trying to figure out other ways to dilute my holdings at RadiumOne further. I sincerely hope you wake up from this greed, betrayal, and dishonesty.”
Chahal was arrested August 5 for allegedly hitting and kicking his girlfriend more than 100 times in his Rincon Hill penthouse. During his trial, San Francisco Police had testified that Chahal was seen repeatedly beating the woman on video captured by cameras placed in several places inside the penthouse, including in his bedroom.
The video was not allowed as evidence after the judge ruled it inadmissible because it had been unlawfully seized by police.
After Chahal pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery, he faced waves of criticism on social media, while the Democratic National Committee returned a $20,000 donation from Chahal.
Chahal also went on the defensive with his own social media postings, telling critics to “grow up” and calling the charges overblown and exaggerated, while acknowledging he did lose his temper in the incident.
In response to the open letter, RadiumOne issued a statement:
“While we have not seen Chahal’s complaint of wrongful termination, such a complaint would be without merit. Gurbaksh Chahal’s own actions impaired his ability to lead RadiumOne as CEO and gave the board no choice but to terminate his employment and name a new CEO.”