Mr. Pruitt bristled when the officials — four career E.P.A. employees and one Trump administration political appointee — confronted him, the people said.
The political appointee, Kevin Chmielewski, was placed on administrative leave without pay, according to two of the people with knowledge of the situation. Mr. Chmielewski was among the first employees of Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign, serving as a senior advance official. The two people, who are administration officials, said that Mr. Chmielewski flagged some of his concerns about Mr. Pruitt directly to the White House’s presidential personnel office.
Two of the career officials, Reginald E. Allen and Eric Weese, were moved to jobs where they had less say in spending decisions and less interaction with Mr. Pruitt, the people said. A third career official, John E. Reeder, joined American University as a temporary “executive in residence” after being told by the E.P.A. to find a new job. And a John C. Martin, who served on the security detail, was also removed from the team and had his gun and badge taken away after raising concerns about how Mr. Pruitt’s security was being handled.