John E. Bryson, as US Commerce Secretary
By Richard Wolf, USA TODAY
Former Commerce secretary John Bryson won't be charged with a criminal offense for the series of auto accidents in Los Angeles last month that led to his resignation for health reasons.
The decision was made Tuesday by the Los Angeles District Attorney's office, which issued a declination citing a seizure Bryson suffered June 9 as the cause of the crashes. It noted that he tested negative for alcohol and drugs, other than a small amount of the sleep aid Ambien.
"Both treating doctors agree that suspect was suffering from confusion following a seizure and crashed as a result," the document said. "Based on doctors' opinions, there is insufficient evidence to show knowing failure to provide personal information for hit and run. Further, based on blood test and medical condition, there is insufficient evidence to prove driving under the influence."
Bryson, 68, was on personal time in California when he collided twice with a car, drove away, then collided with another car. He was found unconscious behind the wheel and was disoriented thereafter. He was cited by police with felony hit-and-run.
Bryson resigned two weeks later, citing a critical time for the nation's economy and saying the seizure "could be a distraction from my performance."
President Obama hailed Bryson on June 21 as "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."