This response is provided based on the information you shared and should not be used as the sole source for making a decision. You should seek guidance from the chain of command, IG, JAG or other certified agencies before making any decisions. How you chose to use this information is totally up to you and is your sole responsibility.
Any person in the rating chain can direct a relief. However, a relief can also be directed by a person outside the rating chain. See AR 623-3 and DA PAM 623-3 as they relate to relief for cause actions. Basically, if the relief is directed by an individual outside the rating chain it must be so annotated and I believe a relief memo must also be generated.
Keep in mind the rating chain always has options. Check out our YOUTUBE Channel as it has numerous videos on relief for cause actions and options.
CHECKOUT OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL: Mentor Military https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj0IXu7SmA2wLoPrNAUfSZAHope this helps to some degree.