Commerce Secretary Bryson Resigns After Medical Leave

Jun 21, 2012 11:54am

Less than two weeks after taking a medical leave of absence following a seizure and a string of bizarre car accidents, Commerce Secretary John Bryson is resigning.

In a letter to his staff this morning, Bryson said he was stepping down to “prevent distractions” from the agency’s mission.

Bryson was found unconscious in his car June 9, following two back-to-back car accidents in Los Angeles. Two days later, he announced he was taking medical leave.

President Obama accepted Bryson’s resignation Wednesday night and will meet with him at the White House this afternoon to thank him for his service.

“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.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Bryson was confirmed as Secretary of Commerce last October, having previously served as chairman and chief executive officer of Edison International, and on the boards of the Boeing Company and The Walt Disney Company, the parent company of ABC News.

Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank will continue to serve as the Acting Secretary of Commerce.

– Jake Tapper and Mary Bruce

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