WASHINGTON — Commerce Secretary John Bryson said today he is resigning from the Obama administration after suffering a seizure earlier this month in the Los Angeles area.
President Barack Obama said in a statement that he had accepted the resignation and thanked Bryson for the “invaluable experience and expertise” he brought to the administration.
Bryson, a 68-year-old former utility executive, served as a member of Obama’s economic team and has advised the president on energy issues. He made his resignation official in a letter to Obama, dated Wednesday, and said it was a “consequence of a recent seizure and a medical leave of absence.”
“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 in leadership,” Bryson wrote.
His resignation followed a series of traffic incidents in California earlier this month. Authorities said Bryson was driving alone in a Lexus near Los Angeles when he struck a vehicle that had stopped for a passing train.
The secretary then struck a second car in a nearby city, where he was later found unconscious in his car. Bryson took a Breathalyzer test that didn’t detect any alcohol, authorities said.