If you’ve been out of the loop over the last few days, here’s a quick background on what happened very recently, courtesy of Valleywag:
RadiumOne CEO Gurbaksh “G” Chahal pled guilty to two misdemeanors for domestic violence and battery last week. The ad-tech executive faced 45 felony charges based on security footage from his San Francisco penthouse apartment, which allegedly showed him hitting and kicking his girlfriend 117 times in half an hour.
Well, as it turns out, after Chahal’s girlfriend went to the police, all of a sudden and out of nowhere, she just decided to stop cooperating with the police.
She refused to testify against him or even talk discuss the crime with the police
At the first glance, at least, that was what it looks like.
Except, not really.
Here’s what probably happened (with basic guesswork and logic): after Chahal posted a $1 million bail and his girlfriend hired famed criminal attorney and CNN commentator Mark Geragos to represent her. And that was when she actually stopped working with the cops and the prosecutors.
It is widely known that the best attorneys will always prefer to settle than litigate in court, where there’s a chance they might lose. So putting two and two together, here’s what I guess happened: Geragos convinces Chahal’s girlfriend to accept a fat check from Chahal to compensate for her injuries… and in turn, drop all charges against him.
But that doesn’t mean the prosecution doesn’t have a case. They can forge ahead to press charges, even without cooperation from the defendant.
However, something truly unfortunate happened…
The judge ruled that the surveillance video from Chahal’s bedroom (which did capture the 1 1/2-hour attack) had been seized unlawfully. The cops argued, to no avail, that the only reason they had to seize the video without waiting for a warrant was because they feared Chahal would erase the recording before they got there.
So with that, Chahal was able to get his charges down from 45 felonies to two misdemeanors.
But here’s the actual, clear-cut reason why Chahal should be dumped from RadiumOne: it’s not that Chahal got away with the crime because he didn’t commit it. He got away because of the technicalities of how the law works.
If he didn’t commit those crimes, then sure. Great, go on and become a CEO, take your company public, whatever. But the problem here is that he did those crimes.
He knows that.
Everyone involved in the case knows that.
And it’s time for you to realize that.
To be completely honest, I don’t usually like to think about the private life of a founder or CEO of a company (well I do in private, but I don’t really care enough to write about it). If he or she is doing a great job managing a company, that’s all that it should matter right? Who cares if he or she is pro- or anti-marijuana, abortion, Second Amendment, LGBT, etc.
It shouldn’t matter.
It’s their lives, it’s their choices.
One of the great things about this country is liberty, and with that comes the freedom of choice.
But in Chahal’s case, he didn’t just think about hitting girls. He acted on it. And if you believe that he’s the kind of person who should be the poster boy for an IPO roadshow (an IPO is on RadiumOne’s immediate plans), or on TV ringing the bell to open NASDAQ or NYSE, then perhaps you should reevaluate yourself.
If you’re on the board of RadiumOne and thinking about what to do with him, think about this for a second: is someone like Chahal really irreplaceable? Is he really bringing that much more to the table that the fact he hit a vulnerable woman 117 times over the span of half hour could be ignored? And what about the female employees at RadiumOne – just think about what weighs in their mind for every day that they’re going to work.