Bloomberg News

Ex-Commerce Secretary Bryson Won’t Be Charged Over Crash

July 03, 2012

Former U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson won’t face charges over a pair of traffic accidents on June 9, when he struck two cars in San Gabriel, California, after suffering a seizure.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to file a case, Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the office, said today in an e-mailed statement. There wasn’t enough evidence to prove that Bryson knowingly failed to provide personal information for hit-and-run charges, according to a document provided by the prosecutor’s office.

Blood tests showed Bryson had taken Ambien, a sleeping drug, at the “low end of therapeutic levels,” according to the district attorney’s evaluation. Investigators couldn’t say whether that was a factor in the collisions and there was insufficient evidence to charge Bryson with driving under the influence, according to the evaluation.

Bryson, 68, resigned as Commerce Secretary less than two weeks after the accidents. He was found unconscious behind the wheel of his Lexus after the second of two collisions and was treated for a seizure the same day. Bryson drove off after striking the first car and hit the second car shortly afterward. No serious injuries were reported.

Bryson, the former chief executive officer of Edison International (EIX:US), said in his resignation letter to President Barack Obama that the seizure he suffered June 9 could be a distraction from his performance as secretary.

Jen Friedman, a Commerce Department spokeswoman, declined to comment on the district attorney’s decision.

To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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