Police in Southern California have asked prosecutors to charge former U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson with a crime because of a bizarre series of car crashes he was involved in last month, a detective said on Tuesday morning.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s detective Don Moses told TPM that investigators sent the case to prosecutors on Monday and recommended the former cabinet official be charged in the June 9 crashes.
Bryson initially took medical leave and later resigned from President Obama’s cabinet following allegations that he crashed his Lexus into a stopped car, drove away and crashed into a second car in a neighboring city a short time later. Bryson was cited for felony hit and run and ordered to appear in court within 60 days.
Following the incident, a White House spokesman said Bryson had suffered a seizure the night of the crashes but stopped short of blaming the medical condition for the incident.
Investigators meanwhile said Bryson passed a roadside alcohol breath test at the scene but they still refused to rule out anything, including whether drugs were at play.
Speaking with TPM, Moses declined to specify what charges had been requested because his agency was only assisting the lead investigators in the San Gabriel Police Department. “They submitted charges,” Moses said. However, he noted that the former secretary was cited for a felony the night of the crash.
The detective said a toxicology test had been completed, but he declined to say what the results showed. The test was sent to prosecutors along with Bryson’s medical records, which Moses said were subpoenaed as part of the investigation. The detective declined to say what was in the medical records, citing concerns for Bryson’s privacy.
It’s now up to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office to decide what to do with the case. A spokeswoman for the office confirmed to the AP on Monday that prosecutors had received the case, but she declined to say anything else.
Nick Martin is an associate editor at TPM in New York City. He came to the site in 2011 as a reporter for TPMMuckraker. Previously, he worked in Arizona, first as a staff reporter for a local newspaper and later as a freelance journalist. He also ran the news blog Heat City. Contact him: nick [at] talkingpointsmemo.com