Elsewhere online
April 29, 2016

Lawyer for Scarred Charity Leader Details Chemical Attack

The events leading up to and the aftermath of an assault with caustic drain cleaner that badly burned and scarred the executive director of a New York arts organization are detailed in a New York Times account drawn largely from an interview with the victim’s lawyer. According to police and prosecutors, the August 2015 attack on Alexandra Dyer culminated a three-year embezzlement and cover-up by an employee of the Healing Arts Initiative who is now facing criminal charges.

Ms. Dyer underwent multiple surgeries to rebuild her face after a male assailant flung a cup of drain cleaner at her outside the Queens office of the $5-million-a-year charity, which arranges musical performances and arts programs for hospitalized, disabled, elderly, and poor people. She had recently been hired by the organization and was looking into colleagues’ concerns over high debts and discrepancies in the group’s ledgers.

The attack took place two days after Ms. Dyer told Kim Williams, a Healing Arts payroll clerk who primarily handled the group’s finances, that she was bringing in a new chief financial officer to comb through and balance the books. Ms. Williams and two others were arrested earlier this month in connection with the alleged theft and the assault. Ms. Dyer has sued the Healing Arts board, claiming its negligence in hiring and oversight contributed to the alleged crimes.