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Bryson to take medical leave of absence

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Commerce Secretary John Bryson has informed the White House that he is taking a medical leave of absence to undergo tests and evaluations after he had a seizure and was involved in two traffic accidents in California on Sunday.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Mr. Bryson informed the president Monday night of his decision to temporarily step down from the position he accepted just last year while doctors evaluate his condition.

“The President’s thoughts are with Secretary Bryson and his family during this time. Secretary Bryson assured the White House that the Commerce Department staff will not miss a beat in their work helping America’s businesses compete.” Mr. Carney said in a statement Monday night.

A Commerce Department official earlier Monday said Mr. Bryson has a “limited recall of the events” Sunday, including his seizure and the two accidents in the Los Angeles area that left him unconscious in his car after the last collision.

San Gabriel police cited Mr. Bryson for a felony hit-and-run while he was in the hospital Sunday night. Police gave Mr. Bryson a breathalyzer test, and the results were negative.

Mr. Bryson was back in his Washington, D.C. office Monday and was talking regularly with doctors who were monitoring his progress.

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Susan Crabtree

Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at

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