Tech firm fires CEO convicted of domestic violence
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A wealthy Internet entrepreneur recently convicted of domestic violence has been terminated as CEO of a San Francisco 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 misdemeanor charges, in the August 2013 beating of his girlfriend.
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 noted attorney and former federal prosecutor Jim Lassart, who said prosecutors were blowing out of proportion an argument between Chahal and his girlfriend.
Chahal’s girlfriend then stopped cooperating with the investigation and asked prosecutors to drop the charges. But prosecutors said they would proceed even if she would not testify.
Earlier this month, a San Francisco judge ruled the surveillance video in Chahal’s home was unlawfully seized by police, despite prosecutors’ claims that they worried the video would have been erased.
After pleading guilty to the misdemeanors, Chahal was sentenced to three years’ probation and ordered to take domestic-violence classes and do community service. He will not serve any jail time.
On Friday, the Democratic National Committee said it had returned $20,000 donated by Chahal.
Before leading RadiumOne, Chahal founded and sold two Internet companies for more than $300 million.
His status as a wealthy entrepreneur landed him an appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” a role on Fox TV’s “Secret Millionaire” series and a mention as one of America’s most eligible bachelors on the entertainment television program “Extra.”
RadiumOne said Chief Operating Officer Bill Lonergan will take over as CEO.
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