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Long Island City arts charity closes following acid attack on director: Report

By Bill Parry

A Long Island City-based non-profit whose executive director was attacked with acid and later fired suddenly closed Wednesday. Healing Arts Initiative, a charitable arts organization founded in 1969, began to implode Aug. 19, when an attacker threw lye in the face of Rev. D. Alexandra Dyer outside her office on Skillman Avenue.

Dyer suffered facial disfigurement that required numerous operations in the attack. In April, a former accountant at the arts charity and two others were indicted by a Queens grand jury and charged with embezzling more than $750,000 and attacking Dyer in an effort to conceal the alleged theft, according to District Attorney Richard Brown.

“The case is troubling on so many different levels,” Brown said following the indictments. The story did not end there.

In late April, Dyer sued the board on behalf of the charity itself, according to The New York Times, claiming the thefts were due to the board’s negligence. Last week, Dyer and her chief financial officer, Frank Williams, were both fired for withholding “crucial financial information,” the newspaper said.

On Wednesday the non-profit closed and will likely declare bankruptcy, the Times reported.

The state attorney general’s office is monitoring the situation but would not comment.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

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