@Carrie, you could argue as well, that it's not in the accountabilities of the direct Lead Link of that role to decide about the resources that are spent to energize that role.
One of the Lead Link's accountabilities is: "Allocating the Circle’s resources".
In my opinion that means "Allocating/Distributing the Circle’s given resources", where the #FTEs might be one of these resources. But that Lead Link cannot decide about the "quantity" of the given resources, i.e. he cannot influence the #FTEs that is allocated to his Circle.
So, whatever process is in place to define a Circle's resources, that process needs to be followed in order to determine if it's OK to reduce the #FTE for that circle. Or maybe find a third way, so that the respective circle can still fulfil its accountabilities while still being able to reduce the time your colleague spends on that specific role.