By William McQuillen – Jun 21, 2012 11:26 AM PT
U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson resigned, citing health reasons less than two weeks after being treated for a seizure following a pair of minor car accidents in California.
Bryson, 68, who has been in office eight months, was found unconscious in his Lexus after the second of two collisions, Los Angeles County police said. He was treated for a seizure the same day, according to his office, and informed President Barack Obama of his resignation yesterday.
“I have concluded that the seizure I suffered on June 9th could be a distraction from my performance as secretary and that our country would be better served by a change of leadership of the department,” Bryson, the former chief executive officer of Edison International (EIX), wrote in a letter to Obama released today.
Deputy Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank, an economist, has been the acting head of the agency since Bryson took a medical leave June 11.
Police said Bryson passed field tests for alcohol use at the scene and that they don’t suspect drugs were involved. They are still are awaiting results of blood tests to confirm he was not under the influence of any substances, San Gabriel Police Lieutenant Daniel Russo said by telephone today.
Police had been investigating possible felony hit-and-run charges after Bryson drove his car into the rear of stopped vehicle at a railroad crossing and five minutes later struck another car two miles away. No case has been forwarded to prosecutors, Russo said.