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.
From Brianna Keilar and Maria P. White, CNN
updated 5:39 AM EDT, Tue June 12, 2012
Washington (CNN) — U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, under investigation for possible felony hit-and-run after allegedly causing two weekend car accidents in California, will take a medical leave of absence “as he undergoes tests and evaluations,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday night.
A Commerce Department spokeswoman said earlier Monday that Bryson, 68, had suffered a seizure when the two accidents occurred Saturday.
Police said Bryson was found unconscious at the wheel of his car on after the two accidents.
Bryson was issued a citation at an area hospital where he received treatment, said Lt. Ariel Duran of the San Gabriel Police Department. Authorities must still decide whether to formally file any charges.
Bryson voluntarily took a breathalyzer test that detected no alcohol use, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department confirmed Monday. Results from a separate blood alcohol test were pending, Duran said.
Authorities are investigating a series of traffic collisions in the San Gabriel Valley involving U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, authorities said Saturday.
Bryson was found unconscious in his vehicle and has been hospitalized, officials said.
Bryson was driving a Lexus in the 400 block of South San Gabriel Boulevard shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday, when he allegedly rear-ended a Buick as it was waiting for a train to pass, according to a statement released by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and the San Gabriel Police Department.
After briefly stopping to talk to the three men inside the Buick, Bryson left the location in the Lexus and then struck the Buick a second time, authorities said. The men followed Bryson’s car and called 911 to ask for police assistance.
Bryson continued to drive his Lexus into Rosemead, which is patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. There, he allegedly crashed into a second vehicle near the intersection of San Gabriel Boulevard and Hellman Avenue.
U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson suffered a seizure in connection with two hit-and-run crashes Saturday in the San Gabriel Valley, an agency spokeswoman said Monday.
Department spokeswoman Jennifer Friedman confirmed the information to The Times on Monday morning.
“Secretary Bryson was involved in a traffic accident in Los Angeles over the weekend. He suffered a seizure,” Friedman said in a statement. “He was taken to the hospital for examination and remained overnight for observation. He was released and has returned to Washington. The investigation is ongoing. Secretary Bryson has no public events scheduled for today.”
Bryson had no security detail with him during the crashes because he was driving his own vehicle on personal time, sources said.
Minnesota coach Kill has seizure, misses 2nd half
By DAVE CAMPBELL (AP Sports Writer) | The Associated Press – Sat, Nov 24, 2012 9:19 PM EST
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota coach Jerry Kill had another seizure, keeping him off sideline for the second half against Michigan State on Saturday.
Kill’s latest episode occurred in the locker room at halftime as the team was returning to the field, the third such game-day occurrence in his second season at the school. This time, he didn’t need to be hospitalized, however.
Kill had a seizure near the end of a loss to New Mexico State last season and was away from the team for several days while doctors tried to bring his condition under better control, though he didn’t miss any games. This year, he was sent to the hospital for observation after the Gophers were beaten by Northwestern on Oct. 13.
After Minnesota fell 26-10 to Michigan State, athletic director Norwood Teague said Kill was comfortable and all of his vital signs were fine. Kill was cleared to go home after resting for a few hours.