Phoenix (CNN) – Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, briefed GOP contender Rick Santorum on his investigation into President Barack Obama’s birth certificate, the controversial law enforcement official told reporters Tuesday.

After a speech to a Republican gathering in Phoenix where Santorum appeared earlier in the day, Arpaio explained he wanted to inform the candidate of his investigation “as a matter of fairness in case he wouldn’t want me to support him.”

Arpaio said he plans to endorse one of the four remaining GOP candidates in the coming weeks. But the sheriff added he would not make his choice known before he announces the findings of his birth certificate probe at a news conference set for March 1st.

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