US Secretary of Commerce John E. Bryson has announced his resignation, citing medical reasons and following involvement in multiple car accidents.
US Secretary of Commerce John E. Bryson has announced his resignation, citing medical reasons and following his involvement in a number of car accidents.
Bryson decided to quit his post Wednesday night, after initially taking a medical leave, and discussed the matter with President Barack Obama in a telephone conversation the same night. He then forwarded an official letter of resignation to Obama and announced the decision to Commerce Department employees Thursday morning, The New York Times
Obama issued a statement, thanking Bryson, a longtime California electricity corporate executive, and invited him to the White House “to pose for pictures,” but both men refused to comment or take questions on the announcement.
Bryson was cited for a hit-and-run accident in California earlier this month. Authorities reported no indications of illegal drug or alcohol use, although final tests are still expected.
Deputy Commerce Secretary Rebecca M. Blank, who has been serving as acting secretary since Bryson took a leave, is expected to run the department, with its $7.5 billion budget and 47,000 employees worldwide.
It is unlikely for Obama to name a permanent replacement for Bryson, as Congress is due to leave Washington to engage in campaigning for the upcoming fall Congressional and presidential elections.
The 68-year-old Bryson, a former chief executive of Edison International in Southern California, was nominated in May 2011 to lead the Commerce Department and was eventually confirmed for the position last October, after a struggle in the US Senate.