Washington: US Commerce Secretary John Bryson said on Thursday that he is resigning after suffering a seizure this month connected to a pair of car crashes in the Los Angeles area.
Mr Bryson said in a letter to President Barack Obama that he is concerned his seizure "could be a distraction" and said the US would be better served by a change in leadership at the department. He earlier had transferred his duties as secretary to Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank.
President Obama said in a statement that he has accepted the resignation. The president is in the middle of an intense re-election race that will largely be determined by economic issues.
Authorities in California said Mr Bryson was driving alone this month when he struck the rear of a vehicle that had stopped for a passing train. He spoke briefly with the people in the car and hit it again as he left.
He struck a second car nearby and was found unconscious in his car.
Mr Bryson was cited for felony hit-and-run, although he has not been charged. The incident remains under investigation.
Mr Bryson had not suffered a seizure previously. It was not clear whether the seizure preceded or followed the crashes. The Commerce Department said Mr Bryson had a "limited recall of the events."
Mr Bryson had led the department since October. In a separate message to Commerce Department employees on Thursday, Mr Bryson said their efforts to help American businesses "build our economy and create jobs is more important now than ever."
Story first published:
June 21, 2012 22:42 IST