Benton Co. Detective Who Sent Inappropriate Texts Resigns

BENTONVILLE (KFSM) — A Benton County deputy who admitted to sending inappropriate text messages to a confidential informant has resigned.

Miguel Cordova put in his two-weeks notice on Friday (Aug. 17), and his last day was Monday (Aug. 20), according to Sgt. Shannon Jenkins, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.

A reason wasn’t given for Cordova’s resignation.

At a hearing earlier this month, Cordova told defense attorneys for Cody Wise that he resigned from the sheriff’s office in 2015 after an internal investigation revealed he requested nude photos from a female informant and sent her photos of a man’s penis, according to court records.

The informant is a witness in Wise’s case. He faces a capital murder charge for the 2015 killing of 53-year-old Ronnie Kultgen.

Wise, 29, was arrested Monday for allegedly trying to set up drug deal. He’s being held at the Benton County Jail on a $25,000 bond.

Cordova at first denied sending the messages but later admitted to them when evidence was presented to him. Capt. Kenny Paul, who handled the internal investigation into Cordova, said he closed his investigation when Cordova resigned.

Paul said Cordova’s phone was examined, but Wise’s defense attorney, Drew Ledbetter, said his team didn’t have those records.

Cordova was rehired July 2 as an undercover detective.

The sheriff’s office has declined to release Cordova’s personnel file, citing a provision of the state Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) which allows law enforcement agencies to withhold an officer’s information when they work undercover.