In a publicly released letter, former RadiumOne CEO Gurbaksh Chahal promised legal action against his former board of directors today. He also announced his resignation from that board and provided context, from his perspective, into how legal choices were made to protect the company’s potential IPO.
After public outrage grew concerning Chahal’s domestic violence case, he was fired. That came after the company’s board privately expressed support for the executive after he plead guilty to a count of domestic violence battery and a count of battery.
Initially charged with 45 felony counts, a key piece of evidence (a video purported to contain proof of the domestic assault at the heart of the case) was dismissed due to legal issues relating to how it was collected.
Here’s the key set of allegations that Chahal claims as accurate, which intimate that his legal strategy was shaped by the board:
Given the timing of an IPO, you began suggesting that I should not try for full exoneration with a trial, since that could take a year or more and disrupt the timing and IPO process. One approach involved getting the case to a misdemeanor plea so that we could resolve the case and focus on the IPO. You communicated this to me during several board meetings, emails, as well as conversations with my counsel.
By April, after the first settlement conference and preliminary hearing, my legal team was able to get a misdemeanor plea that was satisfactory to both the RadiumOne board and the bankers. You were well aware that if I had gone to trial I would have gotten full exoneration. Instead, I sacrificed full exoneration for the sake of the Company’s IPO, and – more importantly – for you and for our shareholders.
On our board meeting of Tuesday, April 22nd, with only a week to go before the IPO bake-off, I told all of you that my personal matter had been resolved. Everyone was very happy with the outcome, as evidenced by various congratulatory gestures.
The final sentence confirms the previously leaked emails. Chahal goes on to promise “legal recourse” and “severe legal consequences” for the board.
TechCrunch reached out to RadiumOne for comment on the letter. A spokesperson for the firm provided TechCrunch with the following 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.”
Chahal appears confident in parts of the letter that he could have beaten the case: “If I had gone to trial I would have gotten full exoneration.” Chahal, contradicting that somewhat, also states that he faced “exaggerated allegations.” This isn’t, as before, a full denial that the assault took place. This makes his later claim that “everyone seemed fixated on the initial allegations made by the DA, which were false,” harder to parse.
Whatever the case, Chahal isn’t letting the matter rest.