DIGHTON (WBSM) — The Fairhaven police sergeant originally selected as the lone finalist for the Dighton Police Chief job has removed his name from consideration, and it appears the Acting Dighton Police Chief will be appointed to the position.

Sgt. Timothy Souza of the Fairhaven Police Department had been named the finalist on February and was supposed to be interviewed by the Board of Selectmen on February 28, but outcry from both the Dighton Police Officers Local 306, Selectman Leonard Hull, and town residents led to the decision to cancel the planned interview and instead have a discussion about how to proceed with selecting the new chief.

During the meeting, support for Acting Police Chief George Nichols – who was appointed to that position back in September 2023 after former chief Shawn Cronin resigned amidst an insider trading scandal – was so overwhelming that it appears Nichols is on his way to having the job permanently.

“Selectmen Chairman Peter Caron has spoken with Acting Chief George Nichols and intends to place his appointment on the Board of Selectmen’s March 13, 2024 agenda,” the Town of Dighton stated in a release Thursday.

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Souza, meanwhile, sent a letter to the Town of Dighton announcing that he was withdrawing his name for consideration.

He said he applied for the position because he thought it would be a “perfect opportunity” but that his candidacy “took a quick turn due to union and public outcry.”

“As I watched the Selectmen’s meeting of this past Wednesday it was quite apparent that both the union and townspeople want current Acting Police Chief George Nichols as their next police chief and any attempt by me to continue the process would be met with extreme resistance and cause a division in an extremely tight community,” Souza wrote.

“With that I will be officially removing my candidacy as the next Police Chief for the Town of Dighton,” he wrote. “I wish the situation was different and I would have had the opportunity to serve you all but it is quite evident the divisive environment my continued candidacy would cause would not be the best for me, my family, or the Dighton Police Department.”

Souza went on to say that he respected the fact that the controversy never became a personal attack on him “but was simply loyalty to a family member of yours, George Nichols.”

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