Commerce Secretary John Bryson to Take Medical Leave After Car Accidents

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 31:  U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson speaks during a photo-op with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the State Department October 31, 2011 in Washington, DC. Commerce Secretary Bryson, on the sixth day of his job, had a lunch meeting with State Secretary Clinton after the photo-op.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Bryson. Photo: Alex Wong/2011 Getty Images

“I notified President Obama this evening that effective immediately I am taking a medical leave of absence so that I can focus all of my attention on resolving the health issues that arose over the weekend,” Bryson wrote in a memo to Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank, who will take over as acting secretary of commerce.

After word spread on Monday of two car collisions in California involving 68-year-old Bryson, the first of which police have investigated as a potential felony hit-and-run, his office announced that he had suffered a seizure and had a “limited recall” of the events related to the incident. White House spokesman Jay Carney also said that Bryson suffered a seizure; however, both the White House and Commerce Department would no go into any details concerning Bryson's medical history and would not say that the seizure caused the accidents, the Times notes. According to the Washington Post, Bryson is now being evaluated and undergoing tests.