US emergency aid chief sidelined
Brownie, who has been doing a "heck of a job," is "sidelined"
The top US emergencies official is being removed from his role managing the Katrina relief effort, agencies report, quoting unnamed US officials.
Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is being sent back to Washington from Louisiana where he has been overseeing aid work.
Mr Brown has faced strong criticism over the pace of the rescue effort.
Allegations that Mr Brown was not properly qualified for his post recently surfaced in the US media.
According to the unnamed officials, Mr Brown is being replaced by Coast Guard Vice Adm Thad W Allen, who has been overseeing New Orleans relief and rescue efforts.
The officials added that Mr Brown was not being removed from his job as Fema director "at this time", AP news agency reports.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff took the decision to move Mr Brown, the sources said.
The BBC's Washington correspondent, Justin Webb, notes that questions over Mr Brown's eligibility for his post have further intensified the political pressure on the White House over its response to Hurricane Katrina.
Allegations have been raised that he padded his resume to exaggerate his previous experience in emergency management.