Gov. Andrew Cuomo punted when asked this afternoon for a reaction to the latest scandal surrounding Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is under federal investigation for substantial payments he received over the past decade from a small NYC law firm and failed to report.

“I only know what I read in the newspaper,” Cuomo said during a brief question-and-answer session with reporters at his New Year’s open house at the executive mansion in Albany.

Asked if it might be time for Silver, who is up for re-election by his conference to his eleventh term as speaker, to step aside from that leadership post, Cuomo replied:

“Those decisions will be left to the speaker and to the Assembly.”

Cuomo has for years avoided getting involved – at least publicly – in the debate over the assembly leadership, even during his strongest moments (after his 2010 election, for example, when he campaigned on a promise to clean up Albany) or Silver’s weakest ones (in the wake of the Vito Lopez sexual harassment scandal).

Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, has weathered a number of scandals and federal investigations that have failed to result in any charges against him.

With the exception of the failed 2000 coup mounted by former Assemblyman Michael Bragman, there has never been a serious challenge to Silver’s speakership in the Assembly.

Silver is the second-longest tenured speaker on record in Albany. He hit his 20-year mark as leader of the Democratic conference last February, and needs two more years to tie the late Oswald D. Heck, a Schenectady Republican who ran the house from 1937 to 1959.

Heck, for the record, was the last speaker from upstate New York.

UPDATE: The NYT’s Tom Kaplan reports Assembly Democrats have scheduled a meeting for next Tuesday to nominate Silver for another two-year term as speaker. As Kaplan notes, there’s “no sign Silver is at any risk.”