Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver told reporters in New York City this afternoon that the Joint Commission on Public Ethics launched a full investigation of the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal, an inquiry that presumably includes a look at his role.

“I think that’s academic now,” Silver said. “The commission has voted for a full investigation which is what we wanted because we believe a full investigation will show we acted in good faith, pursant to law, in what we believe is in the best interest of the women.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo had said that if JCOPE refused to broaden its investigation, he would launch his own investigation into the scandal via special powers granted under the Moreland Act.

Silver had called for a full investigation earlier, saying the more than $130,000 in settlement money for the alleged victims of groping and sexual advances from the once-powerful Brooklyn king maker were above board, but should not have been kept from the public.

Part of the calculation is that an investigation could show the extent of the involvement of both the comptroller’s office and the state attorney general.

“I have full confidence in the commission and when they see all the facts, they will conclude we acted in good faith,” he added.

JCOPE commissioners concluded their public meeting today by confirming the ethics panel had launched an investigation, but Chairwoman Janet DiFiore would not say what was being looked into formally or the extent of the probe.

Commissioner Mary Lou Rath, a former Republican state senator, more or less confirmed it was the Lopez affair, saying that the investigation concerned “The one we’re all talking about.”