Gov. Phil Murphy supports an investigation into allegations that the Star-Ledger editorial page editor of inappropriately touched Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez at an event two years ago.

The incident was first reported by the Globe on March 29 after Tom Moran wrote a column titled "Why Esther Suarez is an awful pick as next top federal prosecutor." Suarez is considered one of President Biden's top picks to be the next U.S. attorney for New Jersey.

According to police reports obtained by the New Jersey Globe, Tom Moran was accused of putting his hand on Suarez's back at Saint Peter's College in Jersey City in April 2019. Surveillance video shows Moran appearing to be touching Suarez.

An assistant prosecutor told investigators that he heard Suarez tell Moran to not touch her, according to the Globe. She did not press charges against Moran.

The prosecutor was appointed by Gov. Jon Corzine in 2010 and her office oversaw the investigation of Al Alvarez, a Murphy campaign official accused of sexually assaulting campaign staffer Katie Brennan. Her office decided not to charge Alvarez with a crime and Suarez had to investigate the integrity of her office's investigation after the public became aware that she knew Alvarez.

NJ Advance Media President Steve Alessi told the Globe that they were aware of the incident and believed hat Moran acted "responsibly and professionally," adding that Moran apologized to Suarez.

Moran said he was trying to get the prosecutor's attention.

When asked about the allegation during his coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, Murphy said there should be an independent investigation.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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