Bryson Resigns As U.S. Commerce Secretary 12 Days After Car Accidents
John Bryson has resigned as U.S. Commerce Secretary, less than two weeks after he crashed his car several times in California following a seizure. He told President Barack Obama about his decision on Wednesday night, and Obama announced it on Thursday, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times by Jim Puzzanghera. The LA Times quotes Bryson:
‘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 of the Department,’ Bryson wrote to President Obama in a letter dated Wednesday.
As this blog reported on June 13, Bryson had medical tests after crashing his car into two cars (one of them twice) in San Gabriel and Rosemead. While there were no serious injuries, three of the five people in cars Bryson struck told paramedics they were in pain. Police cited Bryson for felony hit-and-run, but did not book him at that time because he was taken to an area hospital.
In a post on Thursday, Peter Baker notes on The New York Times blog The Caucus that after resigning, Bryson “offered no further information about his health or the status of the legal case following the episode earlier this month.”
In a statement on the White House website, Obama accepted Bryson’s resignation and wrote:
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.
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. John has proven himself an effective and distinguished leader throughout his career in both the public and private sectors, from his success in the business world to his work leading on issues in the renewable energy industry. I am grateful that he brought that invaluable experience and expertise to my administration, and am pleased that he has agreed to continue supporting our efforts to strengthen the economy and create good jobs by serving as a member of my Export Council going forward.
In the statement, Obama also expressed his confidence in Dr. Rebecca M. Blank, who is serving as Acting Secretary for the Commerce Department. Baker reports that the White House announced that the President would make a public appearance in the Oval Office with Bryson at 3 p.m. Thursday to thank him for his service.
Image by U.S. Department of Commerce, used under Fair Use: Reporting.