Commerce Secretary John Bryson resigns, citing medical reasons

Commerce Secretary John Bryson has resigned from his Cabinet post, citing medical reasons.

Bryson informed President Obama on Wednesday night of his decision, telling him he was stepping down "as a consequence of a recent seizure and medical leave of absence."

"I have concluded that the seizure I suffered on June 9 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," he wrote.

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His resignation comes less than two weeks after he took medical leave from the job. He had temporarily stepped down from his position following two back-to-back car crashes in California earlier this month, including a hit-and-run.

"The work that you do to help America’s entrepreneurs and businesses build our economy and create jobs is more important now than ever and I have come to the conclusion that I need to step down to prevent distractions from this critical mission," Bryson wrote.

The president said in a statement Thursday that accepted Bryson's resignation.  

"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.

The president will meet with Bryson Thursday afternoon in the Oval Office to thank him for his service.

"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," Obama said.

The 68-year-old Bryson took medical leave in June after reportedly having a seizure during his involvement in two car accidents within a short time frame in Los Angeles. He was found unconscious after the second accident and treated at a hospital and released. 

He took over at Commerce in October. 

Rebecca Blank has been serving as acting secretary since his medical leave was announced. 

"In my personal capacity, I will continue to do everything I can to support the president and America’s businesses as they continue to advance innovation, U.S. competitiveness, and prosperity for our people in the months and years ahead," Bryson wrote.

— This story was updated at 11:59 a.m.