U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson has resigned, days after going on medical leave for seizures he apparently suffered during two hit-and-run accidents in Los Angeles.
Bryson had been on leave since June 11, following a weekend in which he struck two cars and was found unconscious by Los Angeles sheriff's deputies behind the wheel of his Lexus.
A breathalyzer test showed alcohol was not a factor, but prosecutors were considering filing felony hit-and-run charges. No injuries were involved in either collision.
Bryson, 68, had been in office since his appointment by Obama last October. He had acknowledged the seizures in a statement.
"Last night I accepted the resignation of John Bryson as Secretary of the Department of Commerce. I want to extend my deepest thanks and appreciation to John for his service over the past months, and wish him and his family the very best," Obama said in a statement on Thursday. "As Secretary, John fought tirelessly for our nation's businesses and workers, helping to bolster our exports and promote American manufacturing and products at home and abroad."
In Bryson's place will be Rebecca Blank, the department's deputy secretary, who had been assuming his duties since his medical leave began. Obama said Blank "will serve the American people well as Acting Secretary and that the Commerce Department staff will continue their tireless work putting forward policies that help our workers and businesses compete."
The Commerce Department employs 47,000 workers and has a $7.8 billion budget.
by RTT Staff Writer
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