- Getty Images/Charley Gallay
Gurbaksh Chahal, the ousted CEO of the ad-tech company RadiumOne, was willing to pay former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown $1 million to make his domestic-violence charges “go away” so they didn’t delay RadiumOne’s initial public offering, according to a report from Jeff Elder at The Wall Street Journal.
Chahal originally faced 45 felony counts after prosecutors said he beat his girlfriend more than 100 times in one night in August 2013, according to documents hosted on Scribd. Chahal pleaded guilty in April 2014 to two misdemeanor charges and is serving three years of probation.
In emails viewed by The Journal, Chahal reportedly offered in December 2013 to pay Brown, a lawyer, to make the charges go away.
Chahal reportedly said in an email to a RadiumOne board member that he met with Brown and wrote that Brown “wants $1 million if he can make this go away.” Chahal also reportedly paid Brown a $250,000 retainer, though some of that money was later returned after the judge ruled that a video of the alleged incident was inadmissible.
The 45 charges against Chahal were also of concern to RadiumOne’s attorneys, Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, who reportedly discussed whether the charges would need to be disclosed if the company filed for an IPO, according to The Journal.
One attorney went as far as saying that San Francisco’s district attorney, George Gascón, who was prosecuting the case, “needs to be visited with some domestic violence,” The Journal reported.
The Journal’s report says there’s no evidence that Chahal or his representatives swayed the DA’s office, and Gascón denied all knowledge of the emails. The Journal said the emails were part of a brief prepared by Chahal’s lawyer for an outside mediator as part of a legal settlement with RadiumOne after his firing.
Chahal’s drama didn’t stop after his guilty plea. He went on to found a competing ad-tech company, Gravity4, and was arrested in October 2014 after allegedly kicking a new girlfriend in a different incident. The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office filed a motion to revoke his probation after the alleged incident but didn’t file formal charges. The motion to revoke probation will be heard Friday before a judge in San Francisco.
We contacted Chahal and his current and former companies, Brown, the law firm Wilson Sonsini, the lawyer who reportedly sent the “domestic-violence” email, and Gascón.
None responded, but if they do, we’ll update this post.