Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said in a statement released this afternoon that he would “welcome” an investigation by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics over the growing controversy surrounding the $103,000 settlement to a woman who alleged she was sexually harassed by Assemblyman Vito Lopez.

I would welcome a JCOPE investigation, as a JCOPE inquiry would supersede any confidentiality agreements that exist and allow all of the facts to come out. Those facts will show that any decision by the Assembly to enter into any settlement agreement was both legal and ethical and made out of deference to the wishes of the complainants. In addition the Assembly has written to counsel in any previous settlement asking for a release from any confidentiality clauses that may exist so that we can legally and properly release to the public all information relating to any settlement and how it was reached.

Silver said in a statement on Tuesday that he regretted the settlement being done in secret.